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Last Updated: Friday, 4 November 2005, 13:10 GMT
Vodafone raises S African stake
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Africa is one of Vodafone's key growth markets
Vodafone has completed a deal which will raise its stake in South African mobile phone firm, Vodacom, to 50%.

UK-based Vodafone secured the move by paying 214m rand ($32m; 18m) for a controlling share of fellow Vodacom shareholder, investment firm Venfin.

Venfin has a 15% stake in Vodacom which now adds to Vodafone's existing 35%.

The other 50% of Vodacom, which has 14 million customers in South Africa and is growing in other African markets, is held by state-owned firm Telkom.

Growth areas

Vodafone regards Africa and south east Asia as its key growth markets.

Last month Vodafone agreed to buy a 10% stake in Indian firm Bharti Tele-Ventures for 841m.

Vodacom saw its customer base grow by almost 40% in the last financial year, while its revenues rose 20%.

Its services are currently available to more than 55% of South Africa's 47 million population.

The company also has three million customers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Lesotho and Mozambique.

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