South Africa’s MTN Group is considering a move to increase local ownership of its subsidiary in Uganda. A report from Reuters cites group CEO Robert Shuter as saying that MTN Uganda could go from 4% local ownership currently to 20% by the end of this year. MTN has been under pressure from authorities in Uganda to raise local shareholding levels and is already in talks with the country’s state pension fund, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), over the possibility of them taking a stake in MTN Uganda. A share listing on the Ugandan bourse has also been considered.
‘We’ve been in discussions with the NSSF; this is a potential investor in MTN Uganda … This is a way to get broad-based participation without necessarily having to go through all the complexity of the listing,’ Shuter said. MTN Uganda has recently come under fire for alleged under-declaration of revenues, while company executives have been deported due to security concerns, though the telco has denied the allegations. The Ugandan cellco is currently operating under a temporary concession while negotiations over the renewal of its licence continue.