The Uganda Communications Commission says that the sale of 20% stake in MTN Uganda will be restricted to East African Community bloc.
This will see citizens from Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan eligible to buy shares in the Uganda telcos.
Foreign-owned telecom operators in Uganda have to comply with the latest government directive requiring operators to list a fifth of their shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange. The government opines that reserving a fifth of the shares for locals will allow local investors to benefit from the telecoms’ profits. In addition, the dividend payout to locals will boost Uganda’s foreign exchange inflows.
The directive also affects India’s Bharti Airtel with the government expecting the players to list the 20% of their equity within two years, which is by end of 2021.
MTN Uganda renewed its operating license, which had expired in October 2018, for 12 years after paying $100 million. MTN has been renewing the license every six months and has been embroiled in lengthy renewal negotiations that took close to two years.
MTN Uganda is the largest telecom in Uganda with a customer base of 12.6 million customers at the end of 2019.