South African fixed-line operator Telkom said on Monday first-half headline earnings per share fell 15,1% to 742,3 cents. Telkom said the reduction in earnings was due to a 4,8% decrease in operating profit to R7,313-billion rand, caused by a 13,8% increase in operating expenses and a 122,4% rise in finance charges.
South Africa's Telkom said on Monday it was in talks with Britain's Vodafone and MTN, sparking talk it wants to sell its fixed-line business and its stake in cellphone operator Vodacom. Telkom gave no further details. Vodafone and MTN -- sub-Saharan Africa's biggest cellphone operator -- said separately the talks were at a ''very preliminary stage''.
South African markets reeled on Friday, caught up in a global flight from risky assets sparked by credit worries, with stocks falling nearly 4% and bonds sliding. ''Traders must be placed on suicide watch today [Friday], as the [stock] market is expected to bleed heavily during the day,'' said Efficient Research in a note.
Africa's top banking group by assets, Standard Bank, has received approval to merge its Stanbic Nigeria unit with IBTC Chartered Bank, the firm said on Monday. Standard Bank said it had increased its offer price to 16 naira per share from 11,74 naira per IBTC share, valuing the offer at -million.