Vodacom Tanzania has submitted a draft IPO prospectus in the face of a deadline for listing on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.
By 31st December, all eight of Tanzania’s mobile operators will be legally required to float 25% of their shares on the stock exchange. If they do not comply then they face fines or possibly even the revocation of their operating licences.
Market leader Vodacom Tanzania applied to the Capital Markets and Securities Authority (CMSA) before the end of November, and fellow operator Tigo has stated its intent to comply with the order, but other operators are in danger of missing the deadline, with Airtel in particular making no announcements.
The government of Tanzania has been pushing operators towards an IPO, arguing that the transparency is required for tax reasons. In addition, the public listings will allow Tanzanians to invest in their mobile industry. The government has noted that the listing process could become more incremental to so that investor capital isn’t used indiscriminately.