|Bid||148.10 x 0|
|Ask||148.14 x 0|
|Day's Range||147.90 - 151.38|
|52 Week Range||1.50 - 178.26|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.40|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Earnings Date||Nov 12, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.08 (5.34%)|
|1y Target Est||2.01|
Facebook (FB) has joined with Naspers (NPSNY) and former Vodafone (VOD) CEO Arun Sarin to inject $125 million of fresh capital into Meesho.
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. is participating in a $125 million fundraising for an Indian startup that is aiming to bring more commerce to social networks like, well, Facebook.Meesho, based in Bangalore, is what’s known in the tech industry as a social commerce startup, allowing people to build connections online and then sell through services such as Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram services. The funding round was led by South Africa’s Naspers Ltd. and also included Sequoia, Shunwei Capital, Venture Highway and Arun Sarin, the former chief executive officer of Vodafone Group Plc.Meesho is part of a crop of new e-commerce companies that are trying to take advantage of social connections to facilitate sales. The startup says that it has a network of more than 2 million “social sellers” in 700 towns across India, focusing on categories like apparel, wellness and electronics.“Our social sellers are small retailers, women, students and retired citizens, with 70% being homemakers who have found financial freedom and a business identity without having to step outside their homes,” said Vidit Aatrey, Meesho co-Founder and CEO.India has become an increasingly competitive market for e-commerce, the last unclaimed major country after Amazon.com Inc. took hold of the U.S. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. won China. Amazon is spending billions to gain share in India, while Walmart Inc. paid $16 billion for control of local leader Flipkart Online Service Pvt.Naspers has a history of backing startups in China and India -- and reaping big profits. It invested in China’s gaming giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. and India’s Flipkart, before the Walmart purchase. It led a $1 billion funding round in the Bangalore-based online food company Swiggy in December.Naspers shares have risen 23% this year, valuing the company at about $98 billion.\--With assistance from Loni Prinsloo.To contact the reporter on this story: Saritha Rai in Bangalore at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at email@example.com, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Phone carriers are huge energy users, and need to cut emissions. They also face massive bills to build out the next generation of wireless networks. Green bonds promise to help them with both.A steady flow of issuance could be building: Orange SA and BT Group Plc are poised to follow Telefonica SA and Verizon Communications Inc. in selling securities designed to fund environmentally friendly projects. The industry has already completed at least $3 billion of sales since January, its first steps into a sustainable debt market that Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates could exceed $370 billion this year.The proceeds can help telecom companies replace power-hungry copper wires with fiber-optic cables, or build the 5G networks that promise to make cities, homes and factories more efficient. There’s plenty of investor appetite for this new take on sustainable investing, but there’s a catch: any hint that a bond doesn’t genuinely help the planet can cause some buyers to flee.“Telecoms have to invest a lot. In the long run, having green bonds in place is going to be very important,’’ said Juuso Rantala, who holds Telefonica’s green bond in the 400 million-euro ($449 million) fund he manages at Aktia Asset Management Ltd. in Finland. “If I find out that I cannot trust the company in the case of green bonds, I cannot trust them in many other ways too. If I cannot trust them, I don’t invest.’’The securities show how green debt is expanding beyond its original universe of the clean energy industry. Beef supplier Marfrig Global Foods SA and Australian retailer Woolworths Group Ltd. have tapped this market to help their operations become more environmentally friendly.For carriers, the task is urgent. The communications industry accounts for about 10% of global electricity demand, and that could exceed 20% by 2030 as demand for data balloons, according to Huawei Technologies Co.Telecom companies have ways to clean up their act. For example, replacing copper with glass wires would use 85% less energy, according to Telefonica. And 5G can enable a range of environmental benefits by allowing smart buildings to monitor heating, connected warehouses to optimize their logistics and power grids to better allocate electricity.But these companies are already staggering under a mountain of debt from, among other things, buying 5G licenses. They’ll need to make sure they can keep their borrowing costs low and tap investors when needed.That’s where green bonds can help: the interest costs are about the same as on these companies’ conventional securities, but they offer the opportunity to access a wider pool of investors.The share of funds focused on socially responsible investing, which includes environmental projects, has risen 34% over the last two years, and now accounts for $30.7 trillion of assets globally, according to the investor group Global Sustainable Investment Alliance.“Many more green telco bonds are likely,” Morgan Stanley analysts led by Emmet Kelly wrote in June. “Demand from funds that have incorporated sustainability into their investment framework has been key.’’Telefonica, based in Madrid, is a good example. Demand for the issue, which priced in January, was significant: the company received five times the orders than what was available for sale, and obtained a spread more than the mid-swap rate that was about 25 basis points lower than initial indications.The yield on the 1 billion-euro 5-year security is in line with the rest of its curve, Bloomberg data show, indicating it didn’t have to pay a premium to tap demand for sustainable credit. It’s a similar story for Verizon and Vodafone Group Plc.Orange and BT Group are paying attention -- they have inserted clauses into their Eurobond prospectuses which would let them issue green bonds in the near future. And Deutsche Telekom AG is monitoring the surging market closely, said a spokesman.For investors, the risks go beyond what’s expected for any fixed-income asset. Buyers also have consider just how green these bonds are.“The question is whether or not a bond offers a real energy efficiency gain or overall gain for the environment,’’ said Arnaud-Guilhem Lamy, who holds telecom securities in his 340 million-euro ($381 million) green bond fund at BNP Paribas Asset Management in Paris. “If we think it’s insufficient, we would sell.’’For a start, there’s always the possibility that this new breed of green-bond borrowers divert proceeds to inappropriate purposes, including pooling them into general funds. Though monitoring groups such as credit rating firms can discourage such behavior, it’s something investors need to watch.But 5G presents a particular environmental paradox.Internet-of-things technologies will connect billions more devices and require many more antennas, so 5G will initially use more power than 4G, according to Sustainalytics, an independent corporate sustainability research firm. This complicates the idea that 5G can be a green investment.However, Sustainalytics estimates the energy savings from 5G outweigh the extra emissions to deploy the new tech by a ratio of 5 to 1. The firm’s analysis of the Verizon bond issue, which included 5G deployment among the potential use of proceeds, found that it was a credible candidate for green financing.It’s a good thing, because Verizon plans on returning to this corner of the bond market. It looks like it will be welcome, too – its $1 billion issue of 10-year green debt was eight times oversubscribed within six hours of being offered for sale, said Jim Gowen, head of supply chain and sustainability for the U.S. carrier.“It was far beyond our wildest expectations,” Gowen said. “We are very interested in doing another one.’’\--With assistance from Paul Cohen and Lyubov Pronina.To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Seal in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at email@example.com, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
● Osram shares fell after Allianz Global Investors, the German lightmaker’s biggest shareholder, said it would reject a €3.4bn takeover offer from private equity firms Bain and Carlyle. Allianz, which owns a 9.3 per cent stake in Osram, said it was “minded not to accept the offer [at] a knock-down price”. Without Allianz’s backing, the bid was unlikely to reach a minimum acceptance threshold of 70 per cent, said analysts.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Reality is beginning to bite in the FTSE 100 as some high-yielding stocks give up on generous dividends. But many British companies are still continuing to offer jaw-dropping payouts when what investors really crave is growth.The dividend culture of the FTSE 100 has long been an oddity. Its investors have received a far higher proportion of their total returns from income over the last two decades than if they had invested in, say, the S&P 500 over the same period.With dividends a very British symbol of corporate confidence, boards are reluctant to cut them even when it might be wise to do so. So the FTSE 100 culture has been self-reinforcing.This year has brought some signs of change. Centrica Plc slashed its payout last week. Analysts had expected the utility to announce a deep cut, but not by nearly 60%. Vodafone Group Plc snipped its dividend in May. And last month, tobacco giant Imperial Brands Plc dropped a commitment to grow its payout 10% annually.Yet even now, these companies’ share prices look superficially cheap on a dividend basis, with yields (the dividend divided by the share price) of between 6% and 10%.Indeed, such ratios are nowadays pretty common in the U.K. The average dividend for the top 15 highest-yielding stocks is worth 9% of the share price. The standard explanation – that this signals dividend cuts in the coming years – doesn’t fit very well. Take analysts’ predictions for dividends in three years; even with some cuts forecast, the average yield for this group is still 9%.This is especially odd in a low-rate environment. Yields on some government bonds and high-rated corporate debt are negative or zero. Surely income investors would buy these dividend stocks if the return provided by their annual cash payouts was only 5% rather than double that level? Wouldn’t that provide sufficient compensation for the added risk?One explanation is simply that international investors just don’t care for yield anymore. Domestic U.K. income funds probably would be willing to pay more for these stocks and bid down their yields. But this group isn’t driving the market. Global investors are. They covet growth and don’t want exposure to the U.K. until there’s clarity about Brexit. The average expected increase in sales over the next two years for the top-15 yielding U.K. blue-chip stocks is under two percent. Of course, if the companies aren’t growing, it’s likely because of past under-investment caused by overly-generous dividends. But cutting dividends now to invest in growth won’t pay off for some time and would only infuriate the small pool of domestic investors who actually like the income. Meanwhile, global investors sit on the sidelines and company managers stand frozen like a deer in the headlights.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Baker at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Legendary fund manager Li Lu (who Charlie Munger backed) once said, 'The biggest investment risk is not the volatility...
(Bloomberg) -- Infobip, a Croatian technology company that counts Uber Technologies Inc. and Burger King among its clients, is weighing an initial public offering in New York as it makes plans to expand in the U.S.A public listing “is something that we are discussing at the moment," Silvio Kutic, co-founder and chief executive officer of Infobip, said in a phone interview. “We are constantly thinking, checking, when to go in this direction and maybe in the next few months, half a year, a year, there shall be a decision."The company provides corporations with technology to send notifications to customers through different channels, such as WhatsApp or text message. In March, the company said Uber is using its technology to mask contact details when drivers and riders communicate. The company’s customers also include Vodafone Group Plc, Costco Wholesale Corp. and Zendesk Inc.Founded in 2006, Infobip has some 1,750 employees who helped generated about 435 million euros ($485 million) in revenue in 2018, according to Kutic. Employees own 10% of the shares, with the rest shared among the company’s three founders.“We had about 30% annual revenue growth in the last two years and this year we are even accelerating," Kutic said. Demand for alerts from SMS phone messages are “still growing like crazy globally."The sector is highly fragmented. Infobip has strong domestic rivals in countries such as China and Brazil, but the largest is U.S.-focused Twilio Inc.Infobip is planning to take on San Francisco-based Twilio in its home market, where it sees most scope for growth. The company bolstered its presence in recent months in the U.S. by opening an office in New York, it’s second in the country, and after acquiring assets from Ericsson AB.“We are now preparing for our big push,” Kutic said. "Today, about 35% of our revenue comes from U.S.-based customers, but these are the digital native companies from Silicon Valley, who operate with us internationally."The U.S. is also where Kutic, who owns the majority of the shares together with two other partners, would someday like to see his company trading."For IT companies, there is much more liquidity and better exposure" on U.S. exchanges, he said. "It would be the crown on our works."To contact the reporter on this story: Rodrigo Orihuela in Madrid at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at email@example.com, Amy ThomsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The data breach at Capital One may be the "tip of the iceberg" and may affectother major companies, according to security researchers
(Bloomberg) -- Swisscom AG’s Italian unit Fastweb is becoming the fifth wireless carrier in an industry that had aimed to reduce the number of mobile phone players in a bid to fight shrinking revenue.Italy’s Development Ministry awarded Fastweb the license last week, a company representative said. Fastweb, which offers high-speed internet services to consumers and businesses wants to attract more lucrative subscribers from rivals such as Telecom Italia SpA and Vodafone Group Plc in one of the world’s most competitive mobile markets.Fastweb had already provided mobile service by renting space on Telecom Italia’s network. Now, it plans to build its own infrastructure. The company paid about 200 million euros ($223 million) for mobile spectrum and towers from Tiscali SpA last year and then bought 5G frequencies for 32.6 million euros. In June, Fastweb also reached a deal with CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.’s Wind Tre to share investments to build 5G networks in Italy.Fastweb’s move goes against the consolidation trend in the Italian telecomunications industry that started in 2015, when VimpelCom Ltd. and Hutchison reached a deal to combine their Italian businesses. Between 2013 and 2018, the Italian mobile industry lost 2.4 billion euros of revenue due to a price war among service providers, according to the country’s communications regulator Agcom.When Wind and Tre agreed to merge, industry executives hoped consolidation would ultimately cut the number of Italian carriers to three from four.Instead, France’s Iliad SA, one of Europe’s most aggressive phone carriers in term of pricing, entered the Italian market last year following a request by the European regulator to maintain competition.To contact the reporter on this story: Daniele Lepido in Milan at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at email@example.com, Dan LiefgreenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- A consortium that includes U.S. cable giant Comcast Corp., James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems and Blackstone Group Inc. has made an offer for a stake in Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., India’s largest private broadcaster, people familiar with the matter said.The group plans to snap up a 51% stake, which has a market value of about 190 billion rupees ($2.77 billion), said one of the people, asking not to be identified as the discussions are private. The bid is nonbinding, the people said.A deal could be announced as soon as Wednesday and there could be more investors, another person said. Deliberations are ongoing and might not result in a deal, the people said. Representatives for Comcast and Blackstone declined to comment, while a representative for Zee had no immediate comment.Zee, the Mumbai-based broadcaster controlled by former rice trader-turned-media mogul Subhash Chandra, is seeking a strategic investor to help pay off debts of its parent group as well as fend off competition from Netflix, Amazon and hundreds of local TV channels vying to tap India’s booming demand for content.A deal would give Comcast, Lupa and Blackstone control of Zee’s deep library of content and its ZEE5 platform offering Bollywood films and more than 90 television channels in 12 languages on-demand via Internet. Some of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, including AT&T Inc., Vodafone Group Plc and KDDI Corp., have been buying film and television production and cable TV assets to bolster earnings as subscribers level off.Shares of Zee slipped 0.2% in Mumbai on Tuesday afternoon, while the S&P BSE 100 Index was little changed. Comcast was down 0.8% in morning New York trading.(Updates with Comcast shares in final paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Anousha Sakoui in los angeles at firstname.lastname@example.org;P R Sanjai in Mumbai at email@example.com;Baiju Kalesh in Mumbai at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fion Li at email@example.com, Dave McCombsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Pay-TV software maker Synamedia, supplier to Comcast's Sky and AT&T's DirecTV, believes the pay-TV market will continue to grow despite the rise of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Chairman Abe Peled said he believed cable operators would increasingly be forced to offer packages that included access to those and other streaming providers, meaning they would need software to manage it. Consumers simply won't be able to pay for buying all these channels," Peled told Reuters in an interview.
(Bloomberg) -- Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. won more subscribers to become India’s biggest telecom operator, as companies prepare for the planned rollout of a 5G network next year.Reliance Jio’s subscriber base grew to 331.3 million in the quarter ended June, the company reported July 19. That’s higher than nearest rival Vodafone Idea Ltd., which on Friday said its users fell to 320 million from 334.1 million last quarter.Launched three years ago by Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man, Reliance Jio’s rapid growth has been fueled by more than $36 billion in spending. Deep pockets helped the company lead intense competition that has driven India’s data tariffs to the lowest in the world. Bruised by the price war, firms have either been forced to shut down or combine with other players, such as the local unit of Vodafone Group Plc that merged with Idea Cellular Ltd.Read more: The $84 Billion Dilemma Vexing India’s Three Telecom TycoonsReliance Jio became No. 2 in May, when its market share increased to 27.8%, according to data released by the industry regulator Trai. Vodafone Idea’s market share was 33.4% and Bharti Airtel Ltd. had 27.6% of the wireless market.Most of Asia’s largest wireless carriers are in the process of testing 5G networks, with plans to introduce them commercially in 2020.To contact the reporter on this story: Ronojoy Mazumdar in Mumbai at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at email@example.com, Jeanette RodriguesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
MILAN/ROME (Reuters) - Italy's biggest phone group Telecom Italia and rival Vodafone agreed on Friday to merge their mobile tower infrastructure and to jointly roll out 5G in Italy. The deal highlights the increasing appetite for tie-ups among phone companies seeking to cut debt and share heavy investment. Under the agreement, Vodafone will transfer its Italian mobile masts to INWIT, which is currently 60 percent owned by TIM, boosting its market capitalisation from 5.1 billion euros ($5.7 billion) to as much as 9.0 billion euros ($10 billion), according to a source close to the matter .
Well-received earnings on both sides of the Atlantic drove a gain in European stocks on Friday, helping to rebound from a rough session.
Vodafone Group rallied after outlining plans to possibly sell its portfolio of 61,700 towers, bolstering London stocks on Friday.
European stocks staged a tentative recovery on Friday as a rally in media stocks and solid earnings at several U.S. companies helped investors overcome the disappointment of the European Central Bank's failure to deliver immediate policy easing. A day after its worst session in three weeks, the pan-European stock benchmark index added 0.4%.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Vodafone Group Plc Chief Executive Officer Nick Read certainly doesn’t lack creativity.Plenty of mobile carriers sell stakes in their cellphone towers operations to reduce debt. Altice Europe NV, Telefonica SA and Telecom Italia SpA have all done it. But Vodafone, in a sense, is doing it twice.Read outlined the plan on Friday. To begin with, Vodafone and Telefonica are likely to sell a stake in their British towers joint venture, probably to an infrastructure fund. Vodafone’s remaining interest will be housed in a new holding company which will oversee all of its European tower investments. In turn, Read intends to sell a slice of that holding company, or possibly list some of the shares publicly. It could divest further stakes in national tower companies down the line.It’s an innovative approach to a proven method of debt reduction for telecoms firms. And cutting debt is a priority for Vodafone after its 18.4 billion-euro acquisition of Liberty Global Plc.’s German and Eastern European operations, a deal that could close as soon as next week. After it does, the company’s net debt will hit around 2.9 times Ebitda.Towers are a pretty straightforward business. They’re essentially the real estate where carriers lease space for their mobile antenna. Typically, those owned by carriers have lower occupancy rates than those held by independent companies, since mobile operators are wary of being beholden to the whims of their competitors. Specialist companies average 1.7 tenants per tower, while those run by operators have about 1.2, according to consultancy Delta Partners. That represents a straightforward opportunity for infrastructure investors to improve profitability.When infrastructure funds’ enthusiasm for such assets was at its peak a year ago, Altice sold a stake in its French towers at an enterprise value of 18 times Ebitda. On that basis, Vodafone’s towers could be valued at about 16 billion euros, given its stated Ebitda of 900 million euros.The market has perhaps cooled a little over the past year, but that didn’t stop Read from trying to bolster his assets with the assertion that Vodafone is a “more attractive anchor tenant than the typical sub-investment grade tenants who have sold towers in the past” – surely a dig at the likes of Altice, whose debt has a junk rating at Standard & Poor’s.Read’s preference for a structured approach instead of a straight sale could help resolve three problems.Firstly, the debt issue. Recent changes to accounting standards mean there's not a straight line between proceeds from a sale and the reduction in net debt, since leasing costs become a liability. Still, were the division valued at just 10 times Ebitda, it could return Vodafone’s debt levels to the low end of its target range within three years, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Aidan Cheslin (Read aims to complete the process in 2021).Secondly, it helps to share the cost of the infrastructure investment required for 5G, where more antenna will be needed to provide the required density of coverage, leading to a more efficient use of capital.Thirdly, should he opt for an initial public offering of the holding company, Vodafone’s own shares could benefit from any anticipated upside. Investors will have better visibility into the performance of units with predictable long-term returns. Cellnex, currently Europe’s biggest independent towers operator, has climbed almost three fold in the past three years.Vodafone hurtled into the upper echelons of Europe’s most indebted carriers with the deal for Liberty. Read is moving astutely to ensure that doesn’t remain the case.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer Ryan at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.