MTN May List On The Uganda Stock Exchange To Renew Operating Licence

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

 

South African mobile operator MTN is considering listing the company on the Uganda Stock Exchange as part of the conditions for it to renew its operating licence in the country.

Ugandan officials within the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) have asked the South African operator to list some of its shares on the local bourse so that it may have its operating licence renewed, according to Techcentral.

Selling the shares in Uganda is not a strict precondition for the granting of a new 10-year contract at the moment, but the local regulator may add that as a condition. Before doing so, they have asked MTN to consider listing, giving Ugandans the opportunity to own part of the mobile operator through shares.

With their current licence expiring in October, they are under pressure to seriously consider the Uganda Stock Exchange listing.

MTN is the dominant mobile operator in Uganda with a market share of around 55 percent, representing 10.9 million customers in the country, according to ITWebAfrica.

MTN is considering listing the company on the Uganda Stock Exchange. Photo – AP – Sunday Alamba

The MTN Group has over 221 million customers in 22 markets across Africa and the Middle East.

The mobile operator is planning to list shares on stock exchanges in two of its major African markets, Ghana and Nigeria, as part of specific agreements in both countries.

Uganda Stock Exchange listing may follow Nigeria and Ghana

MTN is in the process of finalizing its plan to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, with the Nigerian IPO expected before the end of the year, according to Vanguard.

The stock exchange listing was one of the settlement conditions placed on the telecoms giant after Nigeria fined MTN $5.2 billion for missing a deadline to disconnect unsubscribed Nigerian customers.

Africa’s biggest mobile phone company by subscribers will make 30 percent of its Nigerian shares available for listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, with those shares worth around $512 million, according to ENCA.

Most of the shares will be sold to Nigerian institutions and individuals. MTN is the biggest tax contributor, biggest employer and biggest company in Nigeria, and Nigerians will be able to own a piece of the mobile operator through the shares.

The successful share sale would be the biggest on the Nigerian Stock Exchange after Starcomms, which raised $796 million with its 2008 listing, according to Techcentral.

Meanwhile in another West African market, MTN will also be listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange from September.

MTN has agreed to sell shares in Ghana as one of the conditions of a deal to gain spectrum rights. The company will make 35 percent of its shares available to investors on the Ghanaian Stock Exchange, according to ITWebAfrica.

The company originally aimed to list in Ghana during 2017, but the process was delayed. The decision to list on the Ghanaian exchange was reached as part of the terms of agreement for the acquisition of a 15-year, $67-million 4G license in 2015.

The company recently announced the close of its initial public share offer (IPO) which was launched at the end of May, according to Myjoyonline.

The combination of Nigeria’s $512 million and Ghana’s aim to raise around $450 million means that MTN could raise in the region of $962 million between the two listings.

MTN is also listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in South Africa.