Financial

Twitter ‘inadvertently’ uses contact details

E-mail addresses and phone numbers uploaded by users to meet Twitter’s security requirements may have been ‘inadvertently’ used for advertising purposes.
Read time 7min 30sec

The departure of SAP’s CEO and the Twitter data leak dominated the international ICT market last week.

At home, news involving Cell C, EOH and 4Sight Holdings were the main local stories.

Key local news

  • A year-end loss from Jasco, with revenue down 0.8%.
  • A negative trading update from EOH.
  • Net1 UEPS Technologies acquired an additional 35% interest in Bank Frick & Co, a fully licensed bank based in Balzers, Liechtenstein, taking its stake to 70%. The deal was worth $46.4 million.
  • Cell C, SA’s third-largest mobile operator, has put core parts of the business up for sale as it struggles with R9 billion of debt and deepening losses. It is rumoured that Cell C’s fibre-optic network, base of billed customers and the sale of access to some of its wireless frequencies could be on the table.
  • EOH is proceeding with criminal charges and other legal processes to recover losses caused by employee corruption.
  • Vox Telecom, in partnership with its wholly-owned infrastructure provider Frogfoot Networks, Telkom and Cloudseed, will drive the launch of Lekelela Technical Services, a telecommunication staff and solutions vendor operating with 51% black ownership.
  • A renewed JSE cautionary by EOH.
  • A withdrawn JSE cautionary by Jasco.
  • The resignation of Rama Sithanen, chairman of 4Sight Holdings.

Key African news

  • Airtel Malawi has been ordered to pay a $1.1 million fine for failing to sell 20% of the company’s shares to Malawian investors.
  • Rwanda’s Mara Group has launched two smartphones, describing them as the first ‘Made in Africa’, ie, fully manufactured, models. Generally, companies assemble smartphones in Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria and South Africa, but import the components.
  • Smart Telecom has shut down its mobile operations in Tanzania after submitting a business closure request to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority.
  • The appointment of Adilson Miguel dos Santos as CEO of Angola-Telecom-EP.

Key international news

  • Accenture acquired Sutter Mills, a French firm that specialises in developing and executing data-driven marketing strategies for clients.
  • Akamai Technologies bought Israel-based private company ChameleonX to fortify its security portfolio.
  • Altair purchased Polliwog, a South Korea-based hi-tech software company providing EDA software to the rapidly growing electronics industry.
  • Cellnex, a Spanish wireless infrastructure operator, acquired UK-based Arqiva’s telecoms unit for £2 billion.
  • FM:Systems bought Asure Software’s Workspace Management business for $120 million.
  • FormFactor purchased German-based FRT, one of the fastest growing metrology suppliers in the semiconductor industry.

Cell C has put core parts of the business up for sale as it struggles with R9 billion of debt and deepening losses.

  • IHS Markit acquired Novation Analytics, a specialist provider of software solutions, data analysis and advisory services to the automotive industry.
  • InterVision bought Fotis Networks, a provider of IT professional services to commercial, healthcare, education and government customers; and SeyVu, a provider of machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data analytics capabilities.
  • Liberty Latin America purchased AT&T’s wireless and wireline operations in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands for $1.95 billion.
  • Qorvo acquired Cavendish Kinetics, the world’s leading provider of high-performance RF MEMS technology for antenna tuning applications.
  • Sapiens International bought Cálculo, an insurance consulting and managed services vendor, and a core solution to the Spanish market.
  • Upland Software purchased Altify, a customer revenue optimisation cloud solution for sales and the extended revenue teams.
  • Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz led an investment in start-up Preset, which makes a visual-analytics platform.
  • The US Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a bid by the University of Wisconsin’s patent licensing arm to reinstate its legal victory against Apple. This, in a fight over computer processor technology that the school claimed the company used without permission in certain iPhones and iPads.
  • E-mail client Blue Mail developer Blix has alleged Apple stole its "Share Email" feature and integrated it with the its "Sign in with Apple" feature.
  • UK-based IQE, which makes semiconductor wafers for chips, said it would take complete ownership of its loss-making joint venture in Singapore to capitalise on supply chains in the Asian country and China’s 5G market.
  • Mail.ru, the Russian Internet company, has agreed on a joint venture with Alipay, the mobile payments arm of Alibaba Group, along with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and two other Russian partners. The RDIF, Russian mobile group Megafon and Mail.ru have also agreed to set up another joint venture with Alibaba, called AliExpress Russia, which will operate in the e-commerce space.
  • Twitter announced that e-mail addresses and phone numbers uploaded by users to meet its security requirements may have been ‘inadvertently’ used for advertising purposes.
  • The US government has widened its trade blacklist to include some of China’s top artificial intelligence start-ups as well as video surveillance firm Hikvision, facial recognition technology SenseTime Group and Megvii Technology speech recognition firm iFlytek Co, surveillance equipment maker Zhejiang Dahua Technology, data recovery firm Xiamen Meiya Pico Information Co, facial recognition firm Yitu Technology, and Yixin Science and Technology Co.
  • Good quarterly numbers from SAP.
  • Satisfactory quarterly results from CSI and Tata Consultancy Services.
  • Mediocre quarterly results from IDT and Nanya Technology.
  • Mixed quarterly figures from Infosys, with revenue up but net income down.
  • Quarterly losses from VOXX International.
  • Full-year losses from Arqiva and USA Technologies.
  • The appointments of Anthony (Tony) Appleby as chairman of the Project Management Institute; Mary McDowell as CEO of Mitel (was CEO of Polycom); and Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein as co-CEOs of SAP.
  • The departures of Rich McBee, CEO of Mitel; and Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP.

Research results and predictions

EMEA/Africa:

  • IT spending in the Middle East and Africa is set to reach $83.7 billion in 2020, up 2.8% year-on-year, according to IDC.

Worldwide:

  • Global server shipments are expected to see a CAGR of 6.5% from 2019-2024, with Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google and Facebook all planning to establish new data centres worldwide, according to Digitimes Research.
  • Global smartphone shipments are expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.8% during a five-year forecast period, from 2019-2024, driven by replacement demand for entry-level smartphones in emerging markets and the commercialisation of 5G networks, according to Digitimes Research.
  • Global shipments of small- to medium-sized TFT LCD panels are expected to total 1.8 billion units in 2024, representing a CAGR of minus 4.4% from the levels seen in 2019, according to Digitimes Research.
  • Global tablet shipments are expected to slip dramatically on year in 2019, amid weakening demand for brand and education tablets, according to Digitimes Research. Global tablet shipments will see difficulties remaining at above 130 million units in 2020. After 2020, the global tablet market will become a sector of rigid demand, with shipments to shrink 2%-3% every year, and by 2024, it will be difficult to keep volumes above 120 million units.
  • According to Gartner’s 2019 Hype Cycle for Blockchain Technologies, blockchain is sliding into the Trough of Disillusionment. The market will begin to climb out of this trough by 2021, as technology advances and pragmatic use cases uniquely supported by blockchain continue to roll out.
  • Worldwide PC shipments showed a modest increase, with 11% growth in Q319, according to Gartner. Shipments totalled 68 million units, up from 67 million units in Q318.
  • Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs, comprising desktops, notebooks and workstations, reached 70.4 million units in 3Q19, according to IDC. Demand in the commercial segment, combined with trade tensions between the US and China to drive the market forward, resulted in a second consecutive quarter of growth, with shipments increasing by 3% over Q318.
  • Consumer spending on technology is forecast to reach $1.69 trillion in 2019, an increase of 5.3% over 2018, according to IDC. Consumer purchases of traditional and emerging technologies will remain strong over the 2019-2023 forecast period, reaching $2.06 trillion in 2023 with a five-year CAGR of 5.1%.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Up 2.9%
  • FTSE100: Up 1.3%
  • DAX: Up 4.1%
  • NYSE (Dow): Up 0.9%
  • S&P 500: Up 0.6%
  • Nasdaq: Up 0.9%
  • Nikkei225: Up 1.8%
  • Hang Seng: Up 1.9%
  • Shanghai: Up 2.4%

Look out for

International:

  • Google buying Firework, a free smartphone app for users to share 30-second homemade videos with strangers.

South Africa:

  • Further developments regarding 4Sight Holdings, Cell C and EOH.

Final word

Forbes recently published its 2019 list of the top 250 best regarded businesses, based on trustworthiness, social conduct, the strength of their products and services, and how they fare as employers. Included in the top 50 are:

  • 3: Infosys
  • 4: Netflix
  • 5: PayPal
  • 6: Microsoft
  • 11: Apple
  • 14: IBM
  • 16: Amazon
  • 21: Nintendo
  • 22: Tata Consultancy Services
  • 26: Samsung Electronics
  • 27: Panasonic
  • 33: LG Electronics
  • 39: Sony
  • 50: Alphabet
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