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Shares in Telkom, SA’s third-biggest mobile operator, tumbled on Tuesday as it flagged a more than double-digit fall in core profit for its first quarter to end-June, feeling continued pressure from its legacy fixed-line business as well as accelerating inflation and fierce competition.

Market players say the results are likely to strengthen MTN’s resolve to take over the partially government-owned operator whose fibre business grew in the period. For some, the earnings report is proof that Telkom would be better off within the MTN stable...

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