Africa’s largest mobile network operator MTN has sold a minority stake in its fintech arm to the payment giant Mastercard to support the acceleration and growth of the business’s payments and remittance services.
MTN Group has published its financial results for the first half of 2023, announcing that a minority stake in its Fintech business that faces rapid expansion will go to Mastercard.
The Group’s performance grew in Q2 2023, encouraged by the improved network availability. Particularly strong operational results were seen in Nigeria.
The overall MTN Group’s service revenue grew 15% to almost R108 billion within the reported term. The growth was driven by significant increases in revenue from data services (24%) and fintech services (22%). Besides, the company’s revenue from voice services increased 6% in H1.
The MTN Group Fintech business experienced rapid expansion. Its transaction volume increased by 37% to 8.3 billion in the first half of the year.
These transactions were executed by 61 million active MoMo customers. In general, the number of MTN active data users grew by more than 7% to nearly 140 million. That led to a 19% increase in overall data traffic. However, the comopany managed to improve data affordability by reducing the average effective rate per megabyte by more than 22%.
At the end of June 2023, MTN had 292 million subscribers – 4% higher than the same period last year.
Next to the positive financial results, the mobile network operator announced certain strategic changes.
To begin with, MTN and Mastercard signed a memorandum of understanding, with a minority investment by Mastercard into Group’s Fintech business based on a total enterprise valuation of about $5.2 billion on a cash and debt-free basis.
The definitive investment agreement is expected to be signed in the very near term. The closing of this investment will be subject to customary closing conditions.
In addition, MTN continues to simplify its portfolio. The Group is preparing to exit Afghanistan in an orderly manner through the sale of its entire local shareholding to Investcom AF. The transaction received conditional regulatory approval to proceed, pending the submission of relevant documentation to the Afghanistan Regulatory Authority.
Earlier this month, Airtel Africa telecom provider and Mastercard launched a new cross-border remittance service, which will enable Airtel subscribers across 14 African countries to send and receive money quickly, safely and securely.