Delayed for more than a year because of the global pandemic, the IPO of the incumbent telecommunications operator is finally on track. The Namibian government places high hopes in this operation to inject dynamism into national growth.
Shares of Namibia’s state-owned telecoms operator, Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), officially went on sale Monday, September 20, on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX), the local stock exchange. A total of 367,500,000 ordinary shares of MTC representing 49% of the capital are offered for sale at 8.50 Namibian dollars (0.57 USD) per unit. At the end of the operation scheduled for November 1, the state hopes to register the sum of 3,123,750,000 Namibian dollars (210.6 million USD).
According to MTC, each investor who wants to acquire shares will have to spend at least the sum of 1,700 Namibian dollars. Indeed, the minimum number of shares for purchase has been set at 200. For investors who want more, this will be done in increments of 100 shares. Or 850 Namibian dollars. The official listing of the state-owned telecoms company on the NSX, under the code MOC, is expected to take place on November 19. Namibia Post and Telecommunications Holdings Limited (NPTH) will retain the remaining 51% stake in MTC.
It was in June 2019 that MTC initiated the IPO process. The company then planned to submit its application for listing on the NSX in February 2020 and announce the opening date of the public offer in March 2020. The public offer was to close in June 2020 and the official listing of TCM at NSX was for July 2020. But the onset of the global pandemic in December 2019 delayed everything. It was not until last August, when the health situation experienced a lull around the world, that TCM’s application for listing on the NSX was accepted.
Leon Jooste, the Minister of Public Enterprises indicated that the IPO of MTC will help provide liquidity to the state coffers severely affected last year by Covid-19. In March 2021, Finance Minister Ipumbu Shiimi said government revenue is expected to decline 6.1 percent or N $ 3.4 billion in fiscal year 2021/22 compared to the previous fiscal year. The other benefit of listing will be the expansion of Namibian participation in the national economy through ownership in a profitable public entity.