$145m Liquid equity holding shields Zim billionaire Masiyiwa’s Econet from exchange rate shock

Strive Masiyiwa at a conference in 2016.

Strive Masiyiwa at a conference in 2016.

Frank Augstein – WPA Pool/Getty Images

A $145 million equity investment holding in Liquid Telecom has helped billionaire telecom and IT investor, Strive Masiyiwa’s Econet Wireless hedge against massive exchange rate losses related to the country’s local currency plunge in value in the past few months.

With Zimbabwe’s local currency continuously fluctuating and losing ground, Econet Wireless – the biggest mobile operator in the country – has taken massive exchange rate knock-downs. The company said on Thursday that exchange rate losses amounted to ZWL13.4 billion (about $13 million) for the period from February 2021 to May 2022.

Liquid, which has rebranded to Liquid Intelligent Technologies, has investments and operations in data centres, cloud computing and other IT services such as undersea internet cables in African countries like South Africa, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

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