The board of South African telecoms group MTN will support a move by the Rwandan government to sell the state’s 10% stake in MTN Rwanda through an initial public offering (IPO). Rwandan newspaper The New Times reports that the government plans to sell its 10% stake in the operator by the end of the financial year 2011/12 as part of its wider plan to boost the growth of the newly-launched Rwanda Stock Exchange, while also raising domestic revenues to sustain the country’s robust economic growth. Minister of Finance John Rwangombwa recently said that if MTN Group offered the right price, the government would sell the shares directly to the South African company. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MTN Rwanda was the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers with a total of 2.638 million users at 31 March 2011, corresponding to a market share of 73.2%. The operator – then known as Rwandacell – was awarded a ten-year licence to offer GSM services in the 900MHz, 1800MHz and 1900MHz frequency bands in April 1998 and launched commercial services the following September.