Telefonica

By Tim Gosling of bne

PPF Group has sealed a deal to buy a majority stake in the Czech Republic’s largest mobile operator Telefonica CR from the Spanish telecommunications group. The November 5 agreement could put a dent in the Czech regulator’s hopes of encouraging greater competition on the market; it might also herald a new chapter in the emerging markets telecoms business, suggest analysts. Read more

Foreign companies operating in Venezuela have to put up with no small amount of inconvenience. Aside from runaway inflation, which drives up operating costs, they also have to watch the money they make in the country depreciate because Venezuela’s tight capital controls mean they can’t easily repatriate it back home.

On Thursday, Movistar, a subsidiary of Spain’s Telefónica and the second-largest mobile carrier in the country, discovered yet another risk associated with working in Venezuela: price controls. Read more

Carlos Slim’s almost €5bn investment in European telecoms is still underwater and, unfortunately for the Mexican tycoon, still seems to be sinking fast.

Indeed, this week’s €8.1bn cash and share offer by Telefónica to buy KPN’s German mobile unit arguably only dunks again the world’s sometimes-richest-man. Read more

Not for no good reason did the Beatles sing: “Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman.” And it looks like the Peruvian government took that seriously. Peru’s tax agency has been saying Spain’s Telefónica, the largest telecom operator in the Andean country, owes over $850m in taxes and accumulated interest from 2000 and 2001.

However, on Monday, after almost a year and a half of negotiations the Peruvian government said it would renew Telefónica’s operating license in the Andean country for another 18 years and ten months. Good timing too: it’s just a few days before the visit of Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Read more

As mobile phones approach worldwide ubiquity, it’s easy to see that the countries with the biggest populations will have the most connections, with China and India in the lead.

But which companies are serving those customers? And which ones are set to capitalise on the growth in emerging markets? Chart of the week dials in. Read more

In the latest episode of Mexico’s battle of the telecoms titans, Spain’s Telefónica and Mexico’s Iusacell on Wednesday announced plans to unite in the cellular market against the biggest titan of them all, Carlos Slim, reputedly the world’s wealthiest man.

On his home turf, Slim’s América Móvil has some 70 per cent of Mexico’s mobile market, a proportion that Mexican officials describe as “dominance”. Read more

When an avalanche of Spanish capital turned up on Latin America’s doorstep over the turn of the century, naysayers shuddered at headlines that welcomed the “New Conquistadors”. Latin America seemed to many to be a risky bet for Spanish banks, energy and telecommunications companies by comparison with the comfort zone provided by European markets.

Instead, the steady growth of Latin America has provided welcome relief for Spanish companies from the financial turmoil at home. But in recent weeks troubles in the old country have appeared to clip the wings of the Spanish companies in LatAm. A weakened Spain, indeed, seems to have lost political clout in the region. Read more