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CenturyLink spends $34bn

The company bought Level 3 Communications in yet another large consolidation within the telecoms sector.

The CenturyLink/Level 3 Communications multibillion-dollar deal dominated the international ICT market last week.

At home, the disposal of yet another Altron asset was the main story of a quiet week.

Key local news

* Excellent interim figures from ISA, with revenue up 68.5% and profit up 59.4%.
* Good interim figures from MICROmega Holdings, with revenue up 23.5% and profit up 35.9%.
* Mixed interim numbers from MiX Telematics, with revenue up 6.4% but profit down 50.3%.
* Satisfactory Q1 numbers from Net1 UEPS Technologies, with revenue up 0.8% and profit up 6%.
* The termination of the listing of Amecor shares on the JSE.
* Trinitas acquired Altron's Powertech Battery Group for R300 million.
* Tritech Media bought a 30% stake in KaChing, a locally developed cashless and ticketless parking app.
* Mteto Nyati, CEO of MTN SA, has been named the Black Business Quarterly Hennessy Businessman of the Year.
* Groupon SA will shut down by the end of this month.
* Wireless Business Solutions, the holding company of iBurst and Broadlink, has been ordered by the High Court in Johannesburg to pay Vodacom more than R40 million in interconnection fees.
* Renewed JSE cautionaries by the Huge Group and M-FiTec International.
* The appointment of Robert Nkuna as DG of the Department of Telecoms and Postal Services.

Key African news

* Good half-year figures from Safaricom, with revenue up 15.4% and profit up 32.4%.
* Mediocre half-year numbers from Econet Wireless, with revenue down 6.7% and profit down 37%.

Key international news

* Ansys acquired Germany-based KPIT Medina Technologies, a provider of systems safety analysis solutions.
* A consortium made up of funds advised by BC Partners, Medina Capital Advisors and Longview Asset Management bought CenturyLink's data centres and colocation business for $2.15 billion.
* Broadcom purchased Brocade Communications Systems, a provider of fibre channel storage area network switching and IP networking. The deal was worth $5.5 billion.
* BroadSoft, the global unified communication software as a service company, acquired VoIP Logic, a wholesale provider of BroadWorks-based cloud communications services to Internet and service providers in the US.
* Canyon Bridge Capital Partners bought Lattice Semiconductor, a programmable chipmaker, for $1.3 billion.
* CenturyLink acquired Level 3 Communications in yet another large consolidation within the telecoms sector. The $34 billion deal will see CenturyLink shareholders own about 51% of the combined company, and the rest will be owned by Level 3 shareholders.
* Cognex bought AQSense (Spain), a provider of 3D vision software, and EnShape (Germany), a maker of advanced 3D vision sensors and software.
* Digital International, a provider of IOT product technology, purchased FreshTemp, a provider of temperature monitoring and task management solutions for the food industry.
* Canada-based Enghouse Systems, a global provider of enterprise software solutions, acquired Presence Technology, a Spanish provider of multi-channel contact centre software solutions, with a specific focus on Spanish-speaking markets. The deal was worth $17.4 million.
* IBM bought the Expert Personal Shopper division of Fluid, an innovator in digital customer experiences.
* Intel purchased Voke, a virtual reality specialist.
* GTCR, a private equity firm, purchased Inteliquent, a wholesale voice and messaging interconnection services provider, for $800 million.
* Lazada Group, a Southeast Asian e-commerce company backed by Alibaba Group Holding, acquired Singapore-based online grocer RedMart.
* Mercury Systems bought CES Creative Electronic Systems, a mission-critical computing solutions company.
* Roper Technologies acquired ConstructConnect, a provider of cloud-based data, collaboration and workflow automation solutions to the commercial construction industry.
* Solomon Systech, a Hong Kong-based semiconductor company, bought certain Mobile Touch business assets of Microchip Technology.
* T-Mobile Nederland purchased Vodafone's Dutch operations.
* Teledyne acquired IN USA, a manufacturer of a range of ozone generators, ozone analysers and other gas monitoring instruments utilising ultraviolet and infrared-based technologies.
* Zensar Technologies UK bought Foolproof, along with its two wholly-owned subsidiary companies in the UK and one wholly-owned subsidiary company in Singapore, for an undisclosed sum. Under the terms of the agreement, Foolproof will now be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zensar Technologies (UK). The deal will be financed by internal accruals, and will be EPS positive for the company.
* AMSL made a $1.1 billion investment in Carl Zeiss.
* Novatel Wireless will change the name of its holding company to Inseego.
* Excellent quarterly results from Activision Blizzard, Facebook and Inphi.
* Very good quarterly figures from Alibaba, Amkor Technology, Arista Networks, CommScope (back in the black), Impinj, Oclaro Technologies (back in the black), Paycom Software, Stamps.com, TiVo (back in the black), Ubiquiti Networks and Yelp (back in the black).
* Good quarterly numbers from Alpha and Omega Semiconductor (back in the black), Applied Optoelectronics, Cogent Communications, Coherent, GoDaddy (back in the black), j2 Global, LifeLock (back in the black), Monolithic Power Systems, OpenText, Primax Electronics, Qorvo (back in the black), Qualcomm and Qualys.
* Satisfactory quarterly results from ADP, Arrow Electronics, Ansys, AudioCodes (back in the black), BCE, Belden, Cable One, CDK Global, Check Point Software Technologies, CSG Systems International, CyberArk Software, ePlus, Equinix, FIS, Gartner, Motorola Solutions, O2Micro International (back in the black), Orbotech, Plantronics, Roper Technologies, Rovi (back in the black), Sykes Enterprises, Telecom Italia, Tower International and Trimble.
* Mediocre quarterly results from Alaska Communications Systems, Axcelis Technologies, CenturyLink, General Communication, Hermes Microvision, Inovalon, Innolux, Perficient, Pitney Bowes, Sony and Tessera Technologies.
* Mediocre half-year numbers from Kyocera.
* Mixed quarterly figures from AMC Networks, with revenue up but profit down; CDW, with revenue up but profit down; Cincinnati Bell, with revenue up but profit down; Cognex, with revenue up but profit down; Consolidated Comms Holdings, with revenue down but profit up; CPSI, with revenue up but profit down; CSC, with revenue up but profit down; Fitbit, with revenue up but profit down; Genpact, with revenue up but profit down; Harris, with revenue down but profit up; Iron Mountain, with revenue up but profit down; IDT, with revenue up but profit down; Ixia, with revenue down but profit up; IXYS, with revenue down but profit up; Lenovo, with revenue down but back in the black; Mitel Networks, with revenue down but back in the black; Pegasystems, with revenue up but profit down; Quanta Services, with revenue up but profit down; Sabre, with revenue up but profit down; Sanmina, with revenue up but profit down; Shaw Communications, with revenue up but profit down; Skyworks Solutions, with revenue down but profit up; Take-Two Interactive, with revenue up but profit down; TE Connectivity, with revenue up but profit down; Teledyne Technologies, with revenue down but profit up; Telesat Holdings, with revenue down but back in the black; Turkcell, with revenue up but profit down; Ultimate Software, with revenue up but profit down; Verisk Analytics, with revenue up but profit down; Viavi Solutions, with revenue down but back in the black; VimpelCom, with revenue down but back in the black; Web.com, with revenue up but profit down; and XO Group, with revenue up but profit down.

Groupon SA will shut down by the end of this month.

* Very poor quarterly figures from Exar (but back in the black) and Radcom.
* Quarterly losses from 3D Systems, Aerohive Networks, Allot Communications (back in the black), Apptio, Black Box, Bottomline Technologies, Callidus Software, Cavium, CDI, Covisint, EA, Engility Holdings, ESI, Everbridge, Extreme Networks, FireEye, Frontier Communications, Glu Mobile, GoPro, Guidance Software, Harte-Hanks, Imperva, Hortonworks, Jive Software, Kratos, Liberty Global, MDC Partners, Novatel Wireless, Orbcomm, Radware, RealNetworks, SBA Communications, Shopify, Sierra Wireless, Silver Spring Networks, Square, SunEdison Semiconductor, Symantec, Systemax, Tableau Software, Twilio, Varonis Systems, Zendesk and Zynga.
* The appointment of Brad Garlinghouse as CEO of Ripple, a financial technology start-up.
* The resignation of Chris Larsen, CEO of Ripple (becomes executive chairman).
* A planned IPO in London from UK-based FreeAgent, a start-up that provides accounting software for small businesses.
* A satisfactory IPO on Nasdaq by GDS Holdings, a developer and operator of high-performance data centres in China.

Research results and predictions

EMEA/Africa:
* Middle East and North Africa spending on information security technology and services is on pace to reach $1.3 billion in 2016, an increase of 8% over 2015, according to Gartner.

Worldwide:
* The worldwide tablet market continued its slump as vendors shipped 43 million units in 3Q16, a year-over-year decline of 14.7, according to IDC. In contrast to the annual decline, 3Q16 shipments were up 9.8% over Q216, as the larger vendors prepared for the holiday quarter.
* Worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $88.3 billion for Q316, marking the industry's highest quarterly sales figure, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

Stock market changes

* JSE All share index: Down 2.2%
* FTSE100: Down 4.3%
* DAX: Down 4.1%
* NYSE (Dow): Down 1.5%
* S&P 500: Down 1.9%
* Nasdaq: Down 2.8%
* Nikkei225: Down 3.1%
* Hang Seng: Down 1.4%
* Shanghai: Up 0.7%

Look out for

International:
* The outcome of the impending fight between Google and the EU.

South Africa:
* The buyer of a stake in Vodacom, currently owned by the PIC.
* Amazon.com bidding for a stake in Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com.

Final word

Gartner recently revealed its top predictions for IT organisations and users in 2017 and beyond. They were:

* By 2020, 100 million consumers will shop in augmented reality.
* By 2020, 30% of Web browsing sessions will be done without a screen.
* By 2019, 20% of brands will abandon their mobile apps.
* By 2020, algorithms will positively alter the behaviour of more than one billion global workers.
* By 2022, a blockchain-based business will be worth $10 billion.
* By 2021, 20% of all activities an individual ‘engages in' will involve at least one of the top seven digital giants.
* Through 2019, every $1 enterprises invest in innovation will require an additional $7 in core execution.
* Through 2020, IOT will increase data centre storage demand by less than 3%.
* By 2022, IOT will save consumers and businesses $1 trillion a year in maintenance, services and consumables.
* By 2020, 40% of employees can cut their healthcare costs by wearing a fitness tracker.


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