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Accenture goes ape

The company bought a creative agency, The Monkeys, and design business, Maud, which will become part of the Accenture Interactive digital agency.

Two more acquisitions by Accenture, as well as ones by Apple, Google and Verizon, were the main stories of the international ICT market last week.

At home, Adapt IT's acquisition of Micros SA was the local highlight.

Key local news

* Excellent interim numbers from AEEI, with revenue up 47% and profit up 140.3%.
* A year-end loss by Altron, with revenue down 3.2%.
* A positive trading update from Telkom SA.
* A negative trading update from Datatec.
* Adapt IT acquired Micros SA, a provider of software, hardware, enterprise systems integration, consulting, support and solutions to its clients, primarily in the hospitality industry. The deal was worth R63.1 million.
* MTN Group made a R450 million (49%) investment in Iranian fixed broadband provider, Iranian Net.
* Naspers' PayU made a €110 million investment in German-based fintech company Kreditech.
* German innovation consultancy Seedlab will open an office in SA to help local corporates navigate digital disruption. This will be the firm's first international office.
* A withdrawn JSE cautionary by Adapt IT.
* The appointment of Andrew Matseke as MD of Tedaka Network Solutions.

Key African news

* Satisfactory year-end figures from Safaricom, with revenue up 8.8% and profit up 27.1%.
* BringCom, a provider of connectivity solutions to developing countries, acquired Datanet.Com, a Ugandan privately owned network service provider.
* Tanzanian-owned Maxcom Africa, an ICT integration firm, expects to complete its process of offloading 25% of shares to the public this year, as required by the Electronic and Postal and Communications Act, 2010, as amended by the Finance Act 2016, which requires communication firms to offload 25% of their shares to the public.
* Oracle has opened an office in Abuja, Nigeria.
* The appointment of Adil Youssefi as CEO of Liquid Telecom Kenya.

Key international news

* Accenture bought the creative agency, The Monkeys, and design business, Maud, which are now part of the Accenture Interactive digital agency.
* Apple purchased Beddit, a Finnish maker of sleep monitoring devices.
* Cisco acquired MindMeld, a privately held artificial intelligence (AI) company, for $125 million.
* CyberArk Software bought Conjur, a provider of DevOps security software.
* EFI purchased CRC Information Systems, a provider of business management information systems for commercial printers, as well as packaging labels and forms printers.
* Google acquired Owlchemy Labs, a virtual reality game developer.
* Infor bought Birst, a platform for sourcing, refining and presenting standardised data insights at scale to drive business decisions.
* Paytm, a digital payments firm, proposed the acquisition of Freecharge (India), a SoftBank-owned rival.

Apple has become the first stock to have a market capitalisation of $800 billion.

* Shunya International bought a controlling stake in Chinese video-streaming platform Inke.
* Telenor purchased Singapore Press Holdings' stake in 701Search, a media firm, for $109 million.
* German Internet service provider United Internet proposed the acquisition of a majority stake in mobile operator Drillisch. United Internet plans to combine Drillisch and its own 1&1 consumer fixed-line and mobile business within the group, maintaining Drillisch's independent listing and "attractive" dividend policy, and is a move that will put it in fourth place behind Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica Deutschland, all of whom have their own mobile networks.
* Verizon Communications bought wireless spectrum holder Straight Path Communications, trumping rival AT&T's offer and potentially gaining an advantage in a race to build 5G networks. The deal was worth $3.1 billion.
* Digital kiosk firm M Cash Integrasi (Indonesia) made a 25% investment in digital printing service provider Dua Empat Print (24Print.id).
* SoftBank Group made a $5 billion investment in China's ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing.
* SoftBank Group made another investment, of $502 million, in Improbable, a UK virtual simulation start-up.
* Tencent Holdings made a $90 million investment in Pocket Gems, a mobile games developer.
* France's second-biggest telecoms operator, SFR, is seeking €2.4 billion in damages from bigger rival Orange, in an anti-trust litigation tied to the corporate market in that country.
* Apple has become the first stock to have a market capitalisation of $800 billion.
* Singapore-based gaming unicorn Garena Interactive has rebranded as Sea.
* Excellent quarterly results from Coherent, Microchip Technology, NetEase, Nvidia and ON Semiconductor.
* Very good quarterly figures from Acacia Communications, Alarm.com, Camtek, CyberArk Software, JD.com (back in the black), MTS Systems, Wistron and YY.
* Good quarterly numbers from Accton, Ebix, Getac Technologies, HCL Technologies, Pegasystems, SMIC, Sykes Enterprises, TowerJazz and Zayo Group.
* Satisfactory quarterly results from Altice, Amdocs, Cable & Wireless Communications, Chicony Electronics, ChipMOS Technologies, Deutsche Telekom, Exar (back in the black), First Data (back in the black), Telecom Argentina, Telefonica, Telefonica Brasil, TeleTech Holdings, Telus, Wind Tre and Zebra Technologies (back in the black).
* Mediocre quarterly results from Asustek, Batelco, Bharti Airtel, MaxLinear, Novatek and Pegatron.
* Mixed quarterly figures from CA Technologies, with revenue up but profit down; Cincinnati Bell, with revenue down but profit up; Convergys, with revenue up but profit down; Diodes, with revenue up but profit down; EA, with revenue up but profit down; EchoStar, with revenue up but profit down; Innolux, with revenue down but profit up; j2 Global, with revenue up but profit down; OpenText, with revenue up but profit down; ScanSource, with revenue up but profit down; Trend Micro, with revenue up but profit down; Vonage, with revenue up but profit down; and XO Group, with revenue up but profit down.
* Mixed year-end figures from BT Group, with revenue up but profit down; and TalkTalk, with revenue down but profit up.
* Very poor quarterly figures from Himax Technologies and USA Technologies (but back in the black).
* Quarterly losses from Adesto Technologies, Allot Communications, Alteryx, Amtech Systems, Asure Software, Avid Technology, Black Box, CDI, Ceragon Networks, Cogint, Conduent, eGain, eMagin, Entercom Communications, Envestnet, ESI, Everbridge, Everspin Technologies, Faro Technologies, Fusion Telecommunications International, GCP Applied Technologies, GDS Holdings, HTC, Identiv, IEC Electronics, Information Services Group, Inseego, Lattice Semiconductor, Liberty Global, Liberty LiLAC, Lumos Networks, Maxwell Technologies, Mimecast, NII Holdings, Nuance Communications, O2Micro International, Pandora Media, PC-Tel, Presidio, Quantenna Communications, Quantum, QuickLogic, RadNet, Rapid7, Silver Spring Networks, Snap, Superconductor Technologies, Symantec, Synacor, Talend, TechTarget, Tesaro, Tessco Technologies, Tetra Technologies, Upland Software, Wix.com and Yelp.
* A planned IPO in Malaysia or Singapore, by no later than Q1 2018, from Singapore-based cloud services company Cloudaron.
* A filing for an LSE listing next month by Alfa Financial Software, currently majority-owned by CHP Software, in what will be the largest UK tech listing for two years.
* A satisfactory IPO on Nasdaq by Veritone, the developer of a proprietary artificial intelligence platform that unlocks the power of cognitive computing to transform unstructured audio and video data and analyse it in conjunction with structured data in a seamless, automated manner to generate actionable intelligence.
* A satisfactory IPO in South Korea by Netmarble Games, a mobile game developer and publisher.

Research results and predictions

Worldwide:
* Worldwide 3D printer shipments are set to rise 39% in 2017 and show a 42% CAGR over the next five years, according to Context.

Stock market changes

* JSE All share index: Up 0.9% (highest weekend close since June 2016)
* FTSE100: Up 1.9% (highest weekend close)
* DAX: Up 0.4% (highest weekend close)
* NYSE (Dow): Down 0.5%
* S&P 500: Down 0.4%
* Nasdaq: Up 0.3% (highest weekend close)
* Nikkei225: Up 2.3% (highest weekend close since November 2015)
* Hang Seng: Up 2.8% (highest weekend close since mid-2015)
* Shanghai: Down 0.6%

Look out for

International:
* The outcome of the Sprint preliminary merger talks with T-Mobile US.
* A continuous flow of technology IPOs over the next few weeks.

Africa:
* The possible liquidation of Uganda Telecom.

South Africa:
* A possible listing of AEEI's ICT business.

Final word

CRN magazine recently highlighted 10 IT startups that raised venture capital funding in April and are worth watching. They are (in alphabetical order):

* Armor, a company that offers managed multi-layer security for public and private clouds, aimed at protecting against data breaches.
* Cohesity, a developer of hyper-converged infrastructure technology targeting secondary storage.
* Dome9 Security, a creator of a platform to simplify security operations and speed up compliance in public and multi-cloud environments.
* PAS, a provider of security for industrial control systems, such as distributed control systems, programmable logic controllers, turbo machinery controls and compressor control systems.
* Qumulo, a developer of scale-out storage technology.
* Reltio, a provider of a platform as a service that enables enterprises to build data-driven applications with reliable master data management.
* Sensoro, a company that offers the Alpha Product Suite, a solution for implementing an IOT sensor network that is easy to manage and monitor.
* Snowflake Computing, a company that offers data warehousing technology that aims to enable users to easily store, transform and analyse their business data with high performance.
* Tegile Systems, a provider of all-flash and hybrid-flash storage.
* Twistlock, a provider of vulnerability management and authentication for containers.


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