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Econet eyes US Dollar dividends as it separately lists EcoCash

Econet eyes US Dollar dividends as it separately lists EcoCash

Zimbabwe telco Econet Wireless - which is diversifying its business and is expected to separately list EcoCash and other FinTech businesses in December 2018 - is eyeing offshore US Dollar dividends from regional fibre optic company, Liquid Telecom Holdings (LTH) which is pursuing an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on an international securities exchange.

Econet Wireless is disposing of its shares in Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe for US$135 million to Liquid Telecom Holdings in return for shares worth the same amount in LTH.

"Liquid Telecom Holdings is examining potential options for an Initial Public Offering of LTH and its business on an international securities exchange," Econet said in a circular to shareholders on Thursday.

The listing of LTH on an international exchange "would raise further capital for its business expansion and would also provide Econet with an international asset that has prospects for capital" growth and appreciation, according to the telco.

It will also give Econet the opportunity to hold a foreign asset "which has prospects for dividends and capital appreciation in offshore US Dollars" at a time Zimbabwe is struggling for currency stability.

Liquid has operations in about 13 countries spread across Eastern and Southern Africa, including South Africa. In 2017, LTH listed its maiden Eurobond on the Dublin Stock Exchange.

Econet Wireless, which has a market capitalisation of about US$5.3 billion as of October 2018,has continued to revamp its operations in Zimbabwe and this will also see it separately list its FinTech business unit, Cassava (which includes mobile money, micro insurance and digital banking assets) on 11 December 2018.

The company is to hold an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders on 29 November 2018 to finalise these resolutions and still has to secure regulatory approval to issue shares in the new Cassava FinTech business to foreign shareholders, it said.

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