Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) has asked British American Tobacco Uganda (BATU) to ensure that its shareholders replace paper share certificates with electronics ones.
The directive, which will ensure that all BATU shareholders are captured in the Securities Central Depository system, also seeks to ease trading of BATU shares at the USE.
Responding to questions during the BATU Facts behind the figures session in Kampala yesterday, Paul Mr Bwiso, the USE chief executive officer, said there are about 800 BATU shareholders, but only 198 have electronic accounts.
“BATU needs to encourage its shareholders to dematerialise their share certificates so that they can trade on the USE, because without the [Securities Central Depository] account one cannot sell or buy shares,” he said.
The Securities Central Depository was launched by USE on February 18 2020. It requires shareholders of different stocks to immobilise their shares into the electronic trading system.
Currently BATU share price is trades at an average of Shs15,000, but there are no sales, which Mr Bwiso said had made the counter illiquid because most shareholders cannot trade.
It is understood that USE currently has 34,000 Securities Central Depository accounts. BATU was one of the first listings on the USE in 2,000.
Mr Mathu Kiunjuri, the BATU managing director, said illicit trade in cigarettes continues to eat into their income, noting that during the half year to June, gross revenues reduced to Shs48.6b, while total costs and profits before tax dropped to Shs18.7b and Shs5.5b, respectively.