National PTO Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) has been given more time to comply with a requirement to list 25% of its shares on the local stock exchange, reports The East African. The company is currently restructuring its operations after the government took full control in June 2016 when it acquired a 35% stake held by Indian telecoms firm Bharti Airtel. ‘We cannot be categorised as late in listing because we are restructuring ourselves, and yet we are in communication with the Capital Markets and Securities Authority (CMSA) who advised us on what to do to be eligible for listing,’ TTCL’s public relations manager, Nicodemus Mushi, was quoted as saying.
Under the Finance Act of 2016, which amended the Electronic and Postal Communications Act of 2010, the government made it a legal requirement for the country’s telecoms operators to float 25% of their shares on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) by 31 December 2016. At the start of this month, however, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) claimed that 86 telecoms companies had failed to meet the deadline, with only three operators – Vodacom, Millicom (Tigo) and Airtel Tanzania – having submitted prospectuses to the CMSA.
According to the TCRA, it has submitted a list of the country’s telecoms operators to the CMSA to determine which ones qualify for listing on the DSE. ‘Once we get the feedback, we will take action against all companies deemed as qualifying but who have not initiated the listing process on the DSE,’ TCRA Director-General James Kilaba was quoted as saying. Action against the non-compliant operators could include the suspension of their licences.