MTN Uganda is warning that a government move to enforce a sale of at least 20% of local telco shares to Ugandans could result in no increase in domestic share ownership. The requirement to list shares on the local stock exchange has been included in new licence terms which come into force today (31 January).
Reuters cites MTN Uganda CEO Wim Vanhelleputte as saying that instead of the listing requirement, the government should allow foreign firms to sell stakes to vetted local investors via private placements. This would guarantee local ownership, whereas an entry to the stock market could result in foreign investors buying shares, even if participation in the initial public offer (IPO) is restricted to Ugandans. MTN has previously been in negotiations with public sector pension fund NSSF over a possible stake sale.