Uganda says it will renew MTN Uganda’s licence, but only if it lists on local bourse

16 Aug 2018

The authorities in Uganda have asked MTN Group’s Ugandan unit to list some of its shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) as a condition for the renewal of its operating licence, which is due to expire in October. Reuters quotes the head of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), Godfrey Mutabazi, as saying that Ugandans should be able to own a stake in MTN Uganda, which has been operating in the country for 20 years. ‘We are evaluating the conditions of [the licence] renewal and that’s one of the points we are discussing,’ Mutabazi said referring to a possible USE listing. Further, when pressed on whether the condition was a requirement for extending MTN Uganda’s licence, he said, ‘that’s right’ and added that the firm had ‘not shown any resentment to that proposal’. MTN Uganda – the country’s largest cellco with more than 10.7 million subscribers and revenues of USD356 million in 2017 – declined to comment.