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Airtel Uganda mulls listing plans

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Uganda , 24 Jan 2022

Uganda’s second largest mobile phone operator, Airtel Uganda, has initiated internal discussions regarding plans to list a 20% stake in the company via an initial public offering (IPO).

PR manager David Birungi said the company will notify the market “when discussions are complete.”

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) requires all foreign-owned telecommunications companies to list 20% of their shares on USE in accordance with its 2021-2025 realigned Strategic Development Plan.

Listing on the Uganda Stock Exchange (USE) is also a requirement under the country’s National Broadband Policy.

According to the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) this requirement must be met within two years from the date of issuance of the licence undertaken per existing listing rules as prescribed by the CMA.

In 2021, the government directed all mobile phone operators in the country to list on USE within 12 months from June 2021.

Under the new licencing regime, service providers have to guarantee the listing of shares on USE, as well as network coverage to at least 90% of the geographical location of Uganda within five years from the effective date of the licence.

Airtel Uganda renewed its 20-year licence in 2020, which means it is scheduled to list this year.

The local Monitor newspaper quoted a source from within the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) as saying, “(the) listing process will begin in the third quarter of 2022.”

Airtel Uganda will be the second operator to list after MTN Uganda did so last year.

According to authorities, listing on USE will encourage local ownership of the telecommunications industry.

Jacqueline Kobusingye, Chairperson of the CMA, said then that there was no turning back on the issue of listing after years of engagement with the operators.

Airtel Uganda has a 33% of the country’s telecom market share well behind MTN Uganda which has a 51% market share.

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