Airtel seeks to delay listing of Uganda unit


An Airtel shop in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The anticipated listing of Airtel Uganda on the Kampala Securities Exchange (USE) could take longer than expected after its parent firm Airtel Africa sought more time to comply with local ownership requirements.

The subsidiary is required to list a minimum of 20 percent of its shares on the USE, a rule that applies to all national telecommunications companies in Uganda.

MTN Uganda was the first to go public last year through an initial public offering (IPO), attracting local and regional investors including Kenyan institutions.

“Currently, this imposes a listing requirement by December 15, 2022, on Airtel Uganda. On April 5th April 2022 we applied to the Uganda Communications Commission for an extension on the deadline for a period of one year,” Airtel Africa said in a statement.

More regional countries have been pushing for the listing of their telcos after Safaricom’s 2008 IPO which raised Sh50 billion for the government.

Kenya’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is among the investors that participated in MTN Uganda’s IPO.

The State-controlled pension fund acquired 39.18 million shares in the telecommunications firm last year when it went public through an initial public offering (IPO).

NSSF, which made the investment through asset manager Sanlam, was the highest-profile Kenyan investor to participate in the transaction which did not meet the target of reducing MTN Group’s ownership by 20 percent.

The South African multinational managed to sell a 12.96 percent stake to individuals and institutions in an offer that featured a significant discount for East African investors.

MTN Uganda’s net income for the year ended December increased 5.8 percent to Sh10.8 billion, helped by a 9.7 percent jump in total revenue to Sh65.3 billion.

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