The Ugandan government has ordered all telecom operators in the country to list at least 20% of their shares on the Ugandan Stock Exchange. This is meant to encourage local ownership of the telecommunication companies.
The telcos which are all foreign have two years to list a minimum of 20% of their shares. The telecom firms include MTN Group and Airtel.
President Yoweri Museveni stated that the move is to conserve Uganda’s foreign exchange as a portion of the firms’ dividends payouts would remain in the country.
Uganda Communications Authority spokesperson Mr Ibrahim Bbosa said that they would be issuing a new licensing policy and existing operators would be issued with fresh licenses with new conditions. The licenses should be acquired by the telecom companies in 60 days.
The new conditions include sharing of infrastructure such as fibre optics cables as the regulator said they would eliminate duplication and lower the cost of the internet and other services.
Enock Twinoburyo a Ugandan Economist based in Kigali stated that MTN and Airtel are highly profitable companies and that they would draw more attention from both retail and institutional investors in an Initial Public Offer (IPO).
Ugandan Stock Exchange is a small exchange with 18 listed companies and it had the most listings in September last year after six years without a single IPO.