Robi looking to fund expansion via IPO

Robi looking to fund expansion via IPO

Bangladeshi operator Robi Axiata has applied for an IPO (initial public offering) as it looks to raise money to expand its network.

The operator, which is the country’s second-biggest based on total subscribers, aims to raise BDT5.24 billion ($61.8 million) through the offering and would devote the lion’s share of this to a planned network upgrade.

Robi is 68.69% owned by Malaysia’s Axiata Group. The parent firm confirmed that it had submitted the IPO application to the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, with the intention of listing on the Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchanges. The operator expects the IPO to have concluded by the fourth quarter this year.

Late last month, Robi stated that it would only be able to proceed with the listing if the Bangladeshi government implemented tax cuts, with CEO Mahtab Uddin Ahmed calling for the corporate tax rate to be slashed from 45% to 35% for ten years, with minimum revenue tax reduced from 2% to 0.75%.

The operator’s net profit for 2019 saw a colossal drop-off on the previous year, falling from BDT103 million in 2018 to BDT8 million, but this was almost entirely accounted for by a one-time gain in 2018 that benefited the entire group.

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