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Column

Meg Whitman resigns

The HPE CEO will step down in February, to be replaced by current president Antonio Neri.

Meg Whitman's resignation as CEO of HPE and Marvell's $6 billion acquisition of Cavium were the highlights of the international ICT market last week.

At home, another acquisition by Adapt IT was the main local story.

Key local news

* Good year-end figures from Reunert, with revenue up 14.8% and profit up 18.6%.
* A positive trading update from Huge Group.
* Adapt IT acquired the businesses of CDR Live, LGR Analytics, LGR South Africa, LGR Australia, LGR Telecommunications South Africa and LGR Telecommunications Australia, in a deal that could cost up to R93 million.
* Makro bought a majority stake in last-mile delivery start-up, WumDroP.
* Kalon Venture Partners made a R10 million investment in i-Pay, an electronic payments specialist.
* A withdrawn JSE cautionary by Adapt IT.
* The resignation of Wayne Samson, CEO of Ellies.

Key international news

* Marvell Technology Group acquired Cavium, a smaller semiconductor rival, for $6 billion.
* Alibaba Group made a $2.88 billion (36%) investment in China's second-largest big-box retailer, Sun Art Retail Group.
* Alphabet's CapitalG led an additional $500 million investment in Lyft, a rival to Uber.
* Starboard Value, an activist investor, made a 10.7% investment in Mellanox Technologies.
* The US Justice Department has filed a lawsuit challenging AT&T's proposed acquisition of Time Warner.
* TiVo won a key patent infringement case against Comcast as the digital recording pioneer strives for legal advantage in a prolonged royalty fight over the recording technology.
* The S&P Dow Jones Indices have made the following changes to the S&P MidCap 400 and S&P SmallCap 600: S&P SmallCap 600 constituent MKS Instruments will replace Brocade Communications Systems in the S&P MidCap 400, following the latter's acquisition by Broadcom; and Tactile Systems Technology will replace Lumos Networks in the S&P SmallCap 600, following EQT Infrastructure's acquisition of Lumos Networks.
* Chinese telecoms group Xiaomi will prioritise India over its home market and invest $1 billion in that country's start-ups.
* Orange Dominicana and Tricom have merged to become Altice Dominicana.
* SAP, which last month said its South African sales commissions were being probed by US regulators, has launched an investigation into its business practices in the Gulf region.
* Excellent quarterly results from UTStarcom Holdings (back in the black).
* Very good quarterly figures from Salesforce.com (back in the black).

The US Justice Department has filed a lawsuit challenging AT&T's proposed acquisition of Time Warner.

* Good quarterly numbers from Amtech Systems (back in the black), Analogic Devices, Axiata and HP.
* Satisfactory quarterly results from Agilent Technologies and HPE.
* Satisfactory year-end figures from Sage UK.
* Mediocre quarterly results from Cellcom Israel and Daktronics.
* Mixed quarterly figures from ARM Holdings, with revenue up but profit down; Formula Systems, with revenue up but profit down; and Partner Communications, with revenue down but profit up.
* Quarterly losses from GTx, Intuit, Palo Alto Networks, QAD, Rovio and SEA.
* The appointments of Alexandre Fonseca as CEO of Portugal Telecom; Antonio Neri as CEO of HPE; and Eurico Teles as interim CEO of Oi SA (Brazil).
* The resignations of Marco Schroeder, CEO of Oi SA; and Meg Whitman, CEO of HPE.
* A planned IPO from Chinese artificial intelligence start-up SenseTime Group, which is also planning to open an R&D centre in the US as early as next year.
* An IPO filing for Nasdaq from Casa Systems, a provider of products that help customers provide and manage broadband connectivity.

Research results and predictions

South Africa:
* South African smartphone sales climbed 28% year-on-year to three million units in Q317, according to GfK South Africa. Smartphone revenue was up 27% compared to the same quarter in 2016, while basic mobile phone sales were up 6%.

Worldwide:
* VOIP revenue is predicted to jump by 40% this year to reach $2.1 billion, according to BICS, a wholesale operator. In 2017, VOIP will account for 15% of total international wholesale voice revenue, an increase from 12% in 2016.
* Worldwide tablet shipments will reach 128 million units in 2018, with on-year decline shrinking to around 10%, according to Digitimes Research.

Stock market changes

* JSE All share index: Up 0.3% (highest weekend close)
* FTSE100: Up 0.4%
* DAX: Up 0.5%
* NYSE (Dow): Up 0.9% (highest weekend close)
* S&P 500: Up 0.9% (highest weekend close)
* Nasdaq: Up 1.6% (highest weekend close)
* Nikkei225: Up 0.7% (highest 2017 weekend close)
* Hang Seng: Up 2.3%
* Shanghai: Down 0.9%

Look out for

International:
* America Movil selling its stake in KPN.
* Altice selling its Dominican Republic business.

Africa:
* The winner in the bid for 9mobile (Nigeria) as global telcos, private equity firms, and a tower company are among 10 suitors chosen from a group of 16 to join the next round of bidding.
* Econet listing on the London Stock Exchange next year.

South Africa:
* Further news regarding the government's broadband plans.

Final word

The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 is the leading technology awards programme in North America, with 2017 being its 23rd anniversary. Combining technological innovation, entrepreneurship and rapid growth, Fast 500 companies – large, small, public and private – span a variety of industry sectors, and are leaders in hardware, software, telecoms, semiconductors, life sciences and emerging areas such as clean technology. These companies are on the cutting-edge and are transforming the way we do business today.

Included in the top 10 are:

* 1: Donuts, a communications/networking company that operates as an Internet domain name registry that administers online naming options.
* 2: ClassPass, a software company that operates in the fitness sector.
* 3: Toast, a cloud-based restaurant software company.
* 6: Liftoff, a software company that provides a game that translates the rush of first-person view drone racing to the digital world.
* 7: SalesLoft, a software company that provides accurate and up-to-date B2B leads for sales and marketing professionals.
* 8: ShipHawk, a software company that provides transportation solutions.
* 9: iSpot.tv, a software company that provides the Internet's most comprehensive database of nationally airing TV commercials.
* 10: Cylance, a software company that provides revolutionising cyber security with AI-based solutions that predict and prevent execution of advanced threats and malware at the endpoint.


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