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MTN Zambia to list on local exchange

MTN Zambia to list on local exchange.

Zambia's largest telecom operator MTN Zambia now plans to list on the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE) in order to comply with its local licence conditions.

The move follows fears that the country's regulator, the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) might impose sanctions on the company for failing to comply with the regulation.

ZICTA regulation compels foreign-owned telecom companies to have 10% of shares held by Zambians through the stock exchange

MTN is, to date, the only foreign owned mobile phone operator in the country yet to comply.

The company has not said why it has been resisting floating its shares on the stock exchange so that Zambians could buy them.

In 2009, MTN said it was set to finalise the issuance of the shares through a private placement arrangement in the first quarter of 2010.

But that did not happen and subsequently, in 2011, ZICTA issued MTN with an ultimatum to offer the 10% shares to the public by 2014.

For unexplained reasons, the operator did not do so. ZICTA has since threatened the operator with sanctions for being in breach of regulation, according to a source at the Authority.

ZICTA is said not to have been happy with the MTN resistance to comply with the regulation aimed at empowering Zambians.

MTN Zambia has now confirmed it will list on the stock exchange. But the process of listing is subject to final regulatory approvals by all the regulators in country including LuSE, Securities and Exchange Commission and ZICTA itself.

MTN Zambia general manager for corporate services Mwenzi Mulenga said, "the company has now complied with the ZICTA regulations by going to list on the local stock exchange."

The operator currently holds a 51.4% market share of Zambia's mobile market, which has a total of 10.5 million subscribers, followed by Airtel Zambia and the government owned Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel).

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