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About 21,394 people in Uganda have become shareholders in MTN Uganda (USE:MTNU) following the conclusion of the company’s Initial Public Offer (IPO).

 

MTN Uganda was yesterday listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) having raised Shs535.9b (or $151m) from its IPO. This represents 60 percent of its target amount after it launched its IPO in October, pricing 4.5 billion shares on sale at Shs200 apiece.

 

Speaking during the listing of MTN on USE, Mr Charles Mbire, the chairman of MTN Uganda, described the development as a major milestone.

 

“[This] clearly shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and its strategic intent,” he said of more than 21,000 people upgrading from being subscribers to shareholders.

Stanbic Bank Uganda, the transaction adviser for MTN during the IPO process, revealed that Shs535.9b was raised from local retail Ugandans.

 

Ms Anne Juuko, the bank’s chief executive, said 84 percent of the shares were allocated to Ugandan investors, nine percent to East African investors, and four percent to the international investors. The IPO left MTN Uganda chief executive, Wim Vanhelleputte, in a celebratory mood.

 

“We are particularly proud of our digital m-IPO collaboration with the USE, an African first,” he said, adding, “More than 93 percent of the applications were made via the m-IPO platform, with the majority of these investors new market participants.”

 

The listing reduces the ownership of MTN Group in MTN Uganda from 96 percent to 83.05 percent. It is in line with MTN Group’s strategic priority to create shared value, partly through ensuring broad-based ownership in all operating subsidiaries.

 

In a statement, MTN Group President and CEO, Mr Ralph Mupita, said the listing aligns with the Uganda Communications Commission’s new licensing requirement for broad-based ownership by Ugandans.

 

“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,” he said.

 

The USE Chief Executive, Mr Paul Biwso, said the number of people who opened the Securities Central Depository (SCD) account during the MTN IPO was 74,000 on top of 38,000 who were already there. 

 

He added that 19 percent of Ugandans who have SCD accounts participated in the MTN IPO, and helped significantly increase USE’s market capitalisation.

 

Dr Chris Baryomunsi, the ICT minister, said the listing “is a resounding validation of broad band, economic development and digitalisation.” 

 

He, however, asked MTN and other telecommunication companies to look into voice calls data, pointing out the quality of services and the cost of data have been met with criticism.

 

The UCC Executive Director, Ms Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo, said the telecommunication sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of Uganda’s economy.

 

About MTN

MTN Uganda is a leading telecoms company in Uganda and has a presence in all the country’s 135 districts. It has 119,077 Mobile Money or MoMo agents, 200 service stores, and 13 main distributors. At the backend of June, it had 14.9m subscribers, 8.6m MoMo users and 4.7m active data users.

 

Daily Monitor