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MTN lists Rwandan unit on local bourse

MTN has become the first mobile operator in Rwanda to list on that country’s stock exchange, the latest move to increase local ownership in the group’s businesses in Africa.

On Tuesday, the group said the listing was part of MTN’s “work to continuously promote local ownership and participation in MTN businesses across its markets and provides an opportunity for Rwandans to invest directly in the country’s leading network operator”.

MTN Rwanda, also known as MTN Rwandacell, is the largest mobile operator in the East African country that has a population of about 13-million.

MTN does not disclose specific revenue figures for this business, however, it ended the year to end-December 2020 with R328m in cash and cash equivalents out of the group’s total of R31.1bn.

The unit becomes the latest of MTN’s Africa businesses to list on a local exchange.

MTN Nigeria listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in May 2019, while its Ghana business had its stock flotation in the previous year.

MTN has until mid-2022 to list at least 20% of MTN Uganda on the Uganda Securities Exchange.

In a statement, MTN Rwanda CEO Mitwa Ng’ambi said the listing is good news for MTN and Rwanda.

“We are honoured to be the first telecommunications network provider in Rwanda to be listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE). We are committed to further establishing our presence, expanding our connectivity, driving digital inclusion and contributing to the sector and economy.”

Ralph Mupita, MTN’s group CEO — who met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame ahead of the listing — said the listing “will assist in deepening the Rwandan capital markets by broadening public ownership over time and will also establish the basis for a new and emerging telecoms and technology asset class on the exchange”.

As part of the arrangement, Crystal Telecom Rwanda (CTL), the minority shareholder in MTN Rwanda, has distributed the 20% of MTN Rwanda it holds to CTL shareholders.

CTL’s sole business is holding and managing this 20% stake in MTN Rwanda for the benefit of its shareholders.

As a result of the listing, CTL shareholders will become direct shareholders in MTN Rwanda and will be able to trade their shares on the RSE.

The listing will see 1.35-billion ordinary shares registered with the RSE at an initial listing price of 269 Rwandan franc per share. This values the shares at about R5.2bn.

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