14 Dec Mali eyes SOTELMA IPO despite reluctance from Maroc Telecom
Mali’s government is reportedly keen to divest part of its stake in local multi-service operator Societe des Telecommunications du Mali (SOTELMA) in an initial public offering (IPO), despite the reluctance of the telco’s major shareholder Maroc Telecom (IAM). According to Bloomberg, which cites comments made by Mali’s finance and economy minister Boubou Cisse, the country is keen to sell just under half of its 39% stake in SOTELMA – which offers services under the Malitel banner – and list the shares on West Africa’s regional exchange. Should it follow through with such plans, it has been suggested that the funds raised would be used for capital investments.
Mali is said to be seeking to finalise the share sale by April 2018, but the process may be delayed if IAM remains ‘resistant’ to the move, Cisse said, adding: ‘Listing on the stock market goes with transparency requirements, which means that the company’s financial statements will be public … Maroc Telecom is a bit uneasy about it because its main competitor doesn’t have the same obligations, but the government is committed to go ahead.’