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Telcos in Uganda Required to List on Stock Exchange For Licences Renewal

MTN [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

MTN Uganda is required to list at least 20 percent of its shares on the country’s stock exchange within the next two years.

This was one of the conditions given to the South Africa telecommunications company for renewal of their permit  in Uganda for 12 years effective July 1.

The Uganda Communications Commission(UCC) said that when a company gets a National operator licence, they will be required to list at least 20 percent of its shares on the stock market.

According to UCC Public Relations Officer Ibrahim Bbosa, the listing must be effected within two years of the date of issuance of the operator licence.

“The listing requirement is not a cutthroat measure to say that if you have not listed you will not get a license. You first get a license, then we ask you to ensure that you list in the next two or so years,” Bbosa said.

Read: MTN Group to Minimize Spending During COVID-19 Pandemic

He said the requirements were arrived at after a meeting with the telecommunications companies held in October 2019.

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni in January this year also urged MTN to list in the stock exchange in order to give Ugandans a chance to own a stake in the telco.

“Local ownership is important because it helps us stem capital flight which happens when the company is fully foreign owned,” Museveni said. He also noted that repatriating all profits with little value addition and wealth creation for Ugandans is “unfair.”

MTN , which is Uganda biggest wireless carrier, has been operating on temporary permits since its initial 20 year licence expired in October 2018. According to MTN Group Chief Executive Rob Shuter, Uganda has about a 5 percent stake in the company and there were discussions to dispose more shares.

Other major telecom companies in Uganda include Airtel and Africell.

MTN is expected to pay $100 million for the fresh licence.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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