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MTN Uganda upbeat after successful listing

By , Sub Saharan Africa Business, Tech, News and Development Journalist
Uganda , 06 Dec 2021

MTN has listed on the Uganda Stock Exchange on Monday, following up on its successful Initial Public Offering on 23 November.

The listing means MTN Uganda is compliant with law that telecommunications operators in the country to be partly owned by the public. MTN Group’s shareholding in the Ugandan unit has been reduced from 96% to 83.05%, the company said.

“Our listing aligns with the Ugandan Communications Commission’s new licensing requirement for broad-based ownership by Ugandans, with a compliance deadline of mid-2022,” reads an excerpt from a statement released by the company.

MTN Group CEO Ralph Mupita said MTN Uganda had become “the Ugandan stock with the largest market capitalisation” in the country.

Other African telecommunication companies such as Econet in Zimbabwe and Safaricom in Kenya are also among companies with the biggest market values in their respective countries.

“We are very encouraged to have helped facilitate the broadest possible shareholder base in Uganda, with regional participation and in so doing, further developing the equity capital markets in this country,” added Mupita.

The MTN Uganda IPO had been “executed electronically and it's the first of its kind,” noted Paul Bwiso, CEO of Uganda Stock Exchange.

Bwiso said as many as 74,000 accounts for trade in shares on the exchange had so far been opened, with about 92% of these opened “using the mobile USSD solution”.

The majority of the investors for MTN Uganda were also new market participants, officials explained.

About 65% of MTN Uganda’s employees bought shares in the company, cementing its employee empowerment and involvement policy thrust.

“We have put our skin in the game. We believe in MTN Uganda,” said MTN Uganda CEO Wim Vanhelleputte during the listing ceremony.

MTN Uganda raised registered subscribers by 12.3% to 14.2 million as at the end of 2020. Its active data users increased by 34.8% to 4.6 million for the same period as COVID-19 accelerated digital migration, resulting in higher data consumption.

Its mobile money users also strengthened by 14.4% to 8.5 million, also boosted by enhanced digital financial transactions owing to movement restrictions under COVID-19 lockdown measures.

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