The chairperson of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has said all telecoms are expected to have listed within the next 12 months.
While launching the realigned Capital Markets Authority Strategic Development Plan (for the 2021/25), Ms Jacqueline Kobusingye, the CMA chairperson, said there was no turning back now after years of engagement, noting that since listing had been made mandatory as a condition for the renewal of operating licences for companies operating in the telecom sector, they expected them to list in the next four to 12 months.
“In the next four to 12 months all telecoms would have listed on the stock exchange,” she said without providing more details.
CMA has not given any timelines. However, MTN has already indicated, if nothing changes, will list before the end of this year pending regulatory approvals.
There has been noticeable activity to suggest that the telecom is already working behind the scenes to push through with the regulatory requirement. Other telecoms have not indicated when they hope to list.
Under the National Broadband Policy (2018), telecoms are required to float 20 per cent of their share on the Uganda Securities Exchange for Ugandans to buy.
This has already been aligned with the Capital Markets Authority Strategic Development Plan, which in case of failure, will attract penalties from both government and the regulator.
The Uganda Securities Exchange has over the years been starved of regular listings, taking as many as 10 years without any listing.
In 2017, Cipla, which is still the last listing, floated shares on the USE after 10 years in which Umeme had been the last listing. The USE has 17 listings, with at least eight cross-listings from Kenya.
Mr Keith Kalyegira, the CMA chief executive officer, said the listings are expected to grow “market capitalisation of our exchanges by at least Shs3.5 trillion [in addition to the current Shs4.2 trillion] over the next two years”.
He also noted that all telecom were in sync with the new arrangement, saying they had organised sufficiently for the listings, which are expected to be within a space of nine months of each other to avoid under subscription.