Net1's investment in SA's third largest mobile operator has shrunk, hurting the former distributor of social grants in the three months to December. The company said on Friday the value of its 15% stake in Cell C had been reduced by $15.8m (R216m) amid a broader decline in the valuations of mobile operators. The group said in a quarterly earnings report that the fair value adjustment loss related to Cell C – a non-cash pre-tax item –was recorded “due to lower industry comparable valuations”. Net1 bought its stake in Cell C for R2bn in 2017. Partly because of declining voice revenues and lower data prices, as well as regulatory troubles in SA and abroad, network operators have mostly lost ground in recent months. MTN has lost a third of its value over the past 12 months, while Vodacom has lost 29%. Telkom has bucked the trend, having risen by a third, albeit off a low base. The partially state-owned operator is said to be discussing a possible merger with Cell C, which is grappling w...

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