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Regulations that require mobile operators to share infrastructure would probably be credit negative for the larger companies in the sector, says Mark Habib, director of corporate ratings at S&P Global Ratings. In November, the government published the contentious Electronic Communications Amendment Bill, which proposes that mobile service providers share resources, including spectrum and infrastructure. Citing international examples, Habib said the separation of infrastructure from operating companies tended to have negative credit implications for market leaders. "It’s credit negative in our view, in that [the largest service providers] lose a unique part of their business — their infrastructure, which is a way for them to differentiate themselves from their competitors," Habib said in an interview at S&P’s offices in Johannesburg. "In many markets, there has been some pressure from the government, regulators and sometimes even from the public to see more independence on the part o...

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