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Safaricom shares lower on Equity Bank's mobile plans


Safaricom's share price on Thursday took a knock amid Equity Bank's impending entry into the country's mobile money market.

Safaricom, which is Kenya's largest telecommunications firm with a heavy weighting on the benchmark Nairobi Stock Exchange NSE-20 share index, eased 0.4% lower to 12.50 shillings.

Equity, whose shares rose 2.5% to 50.50 shillings, was licensed by the telecoms regulator earlier this year to open a telecoms services arm.

The bank also plans using ultra thin-SIM technology from Taiwanese company Taisys to deploy its mobile services.

Furthermore, Equity has teamed up with the country's second-largest telecoms firm, the local arm of Bharti Airtel, to offer its service.

Equity, Kenya's biggest lender by depositors, has said it is issuing SIM cards to its 8.7 million customers in preparation for the service.

"Safaricom could be the biggest loser," said Silha Rasugu, a Genghis Capital research analyst.


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