MTN is yet to float the 7 percent shares that were not listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) when it listed in December 2021. During the Initial Public Offer (IPO) MTN sold only 13 percent of the 20 percent offered shares, returning an undersubscribed IPO, which generated Shs530b, less than two-thirds of what had been targeted. At least 2.9 billion shares were allotted out of the 4.5 billion that had been offered. Although it was undersuscribed, the IPO remains the largest USE has registered in its 25-year history.
Speaking during a facts behind the figures session hosted by USE in Nakawa, Kampala at the weekend, Ms Sylvia Mulinge, the MTN chief executive officer, said listing of the unsold shares remained an obligation that the telecom was working on. “We would like to see that all the 7 percent shares localised is finalised soon so that we can have all the 20 per cent shares listed,” she said.The 7 percent unsold shares, Mr Andrew Bugembe, the MTN chief financial officer, said is currently held by MTN International, which holds an 83.05 percent stake. “We cannot commit [on] when all the remaining shares will get listed,” he said, but noted that USE listing rules give the telecom at least up to 2024. During the period ended December 2022, MTN registered impressive performance driven by mobile money pay, which grew three-fold to 173,400 merchants, while agents slightly fell by 0.5 percent to close 2022 at 166,229.
MTN registered double-digit growth in data and Fintech, with revenue services growing by 11.1 percent to Shs2.26 trillion. Data revenue grew by 24 percent (Shs511.3b), while Fintech grew by 24.9 percent (Shs656.1b). Earnings per share increased by 19.3 percent, returning a price of Shs18.1 per share. During the period, MTN declared a dividend pay-out of Shs355.9b, which effectively returns a dividend yield is 8.9 percent. Ms Mulinge also noted that the telecom is currently investing in the network to meet licensing obligations under the National Telecom Operator regime, which demands that the telecom covers 90 percent of the country by 2025.
The investments, she said, are mainly capital in nature, part of which will enhance spectrum capacity to “improve our customer digital experience and commercially launch 5G connectivity”. MTN also indicated that it will, in 2023 focus, on customer acquisition, rural coverage, personalised bundles and price optimisation and data growth. Ms Mulinge also said they were engaging regulators and other government stakeholders on issues such as establishing a proactive tax policy that supports digital and financial inclusion to ensure reduction in the price of entry level smartphone and lessen the burden of the 0.5 percent tax instituted on mobile money withdrawals.