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Monday 13 August 2001

IVI-Checkmate Becomes Ingenico Corp.

Groupe Ingenico has acquired IVI-Checkmate, the third-ranked American electronic payments systems supplier, which had been the group's distributor since 1996. Shareholders of IVI-Checkmate at a general meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, last week voted to accept the takeover bid by Ingenico SA of France for all the company's equity.

The acquisition is proceeding without a capital increase and therefore will not dilute the holdings of Ingenico's stockholders.


French Car has Smart Locks

French car manufacturer Renault has made the Laguna 11 into a Smart Car and drivers no longer have to carry a key.

The keyless system uses a personal card with a card reader and starting button built into the vehicle's dashboard. As soon as the driver, carrying his personal card, touches the handle of his vehicle the doors unlock automatically. Each door handle is fitted with a sensor that initiates a recognition procedure. Various functions are then activated such as the automatic positioning of mirrors and seat as well as setting the sound system, heating or air conditioning. Inserting the card into the reader on the dashboard deactivates the immobiliser and the steering lock.

The Renault card stores information such as the vehicle identification number which is electronically engraved and the registration number at the time of sale. The fuel consumption, oil level, mileage, tyre pressures, mileage to next service and anti-pollution diagnostics are also stored.


Freeserve Co-Founder Joins Saiki-Tech Advisory Board

Saiki-Tech Communication Japan Co has announced that Ajaz Ahmed, co-founder of Freeserve, the United Kingdom's largest Internet service provider (ISP), will become the second member of its international advisory board, following Tsvi Gal, president, ATT.COM.

Saiki-Tech created its international advisory board to provide the company with additional insights and perspectives in assessing Internet-related business opportunities in its planned expansion from being a pure-play telecommunications carrier into Internet and data-related businesses. The company currently provides prepaid phone cards, prepaid and contract-based mobile phones, leased lines, and other telecommunications-related services to over one million customers in Japan.


TIW's Cellular Operations Generate $60 million in Q2

Telesystem International Wireless reported its results for the second quarter and first six months ended June 30, 2001. Cellular operations added 429,000 net subscribers for the second quarter, an increase of 34% compared to 319,100 net additions for the same period last year. Total cellular subscribers reached 4,322,600, an increase of 84% compared to 2,347,000 subscribers at June 30, 2000. Subscriber numbers for the 2001 and 2000 periods have been adjusted to reflect the sale of the Company's B-Band affiliates in Brazil at the end of the first quarter of this year.

Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for continuing cellular operations increased 67% to $60.4 million compared to $36.1 million for the second quarter of 2000. Operating income was $19.7 million compared to an operating loss of $1.6 million in the same 2000 period. For the first six months, EBITDA was $118.0 million, up 61% compared to $73.5 million last year, while operating income was $31.7 million compared to an operating loss of $2.9 million for the same period of 2000. On a stand-alone basis, ClearWave N.V. recorded a net income of $1.5 million for the second quarter.

The improved financial performance of the Company's continuing operations was due mainly to sustained subscriber growth in Romania, the successful start-up in the Czech Republic and continuing solid execution at the operating level in Brazil. Subscriber growth was particularly strong in Central/Eastern Europe with the net addition of 284,500 subscribers by ClearWave in Romania and the Czech Republic. Brazilian operations increased their subscriber count by 136,400.

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