Nytex

In Brief:Orange completes Kenya exit 

Orange has completed the sale of its majority stake in Telkom Kenya, marking its exit from the African country.The French telco announced that it has finalised the deal it agreed with Helios Investment Partners in November last year, having received the approval of the relevant authorities.Orange agreed to offload its 70% stake in the Kenyan telco to the Africa-focused private equity firm for an undisclosed sum. "The Africa and Middle-East region remains a strategic priority for the group," Orange said, in a short statement."This divestment reflects Orange's constant focus on optimizing its portfolio of assets," it added.

***MTN Group has agreed to pay the federal government of Nigeria a total of NGN330 billion (USD1.7 billion) over three years, in a full and final settlement of the fine it received last year for failing to disconnect around 5.1 million incompletely registered subscribers. The NGN50 billion ‘good faith’ payment made by MTN Nigeria on 24 February 2016 forms part of the monetary component of the settlement, leaving a balance of NGN280 billion outstanding, which will be discharged as follows: NGN30 billion on 8 July 2016, NGN30 billion on 31 March 2017, NGN55 billion on 31 March 2018, NGN55 billion on 31 December 2018, NGN55 billion on 31 March 2019, and finally NGN55 billion on 31 May 2019.In addition to the fine, South Africa-based MTN Group said it would ‘take immediate steps to ensure the listing of its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange as soon as commercially and legally possible after the date of execution of the settlement agreement’.

***Dar es Salaam — Mobile operators will now pay excise duty on all M-Pesa commissions, the government has announced.Unveiling his 2016/2017 national budget, Finance and Planning minister said a new 10 per cent excise duty on mobile money transactions will apply for both sending and receiving transactions.Only commission on money senders is currently taxed. The main component of fees received by mobile phone service providers in the money-transfer-related services is currently outside the tax net.

***The government of Gabon has enlisted London-based international law firm Bird & Bird to redesign the regulatory framework governing its telecoms sector. The government is keen to create a more welcoming climate for potential investors; close a number of legal loopholes, which complicate business matters; and ‘lay the foundations for an integrated regulatory and legal framework consistent with the trends prevailing in the international and regional economic communities’. The funding will be drawn from moneys previously allocated to the Central African Backbone (CAB) project, the report adds
•