DAR ES SALAAM Dec 14 Tigo Tanzania, a
subsidiary of Swedish telecoms and media group Millicom
International Cellular, said on Wednesday it had
applied to the east African country's capital markets
authorities for permission to sell shares in an an initial
public offer (IPO).
The move has been made to comply with a legal requirement
for the country's eight telecommunications operators to have 25
percent local ownership by Dec. 31.
Tigo becomes the country's second telecoms firm to file an
IPO prospectus with the state-run Capital Markets and Securities
Authority (CMSA) after Vodacom Tanzania, part of South Africa's
Vodacom submitted its application for an IPO last month.
Tigo, Tanzania's second-biggest mobile phone network, said
it filed the prospectus on Tuesday.
"Today's submission is a significant milestone ... and it is
in keeping with our desire to provide our fellow Tanzanians an
equal opportunity to enter into the capital of Tigo in the near
future," Ami Mpungwe, Tigo's chairman said in a statement.
The third major operator, Airtel Tanzania, a unit of India's
Bharti Airtel, is yet to file for an IPO.
Telecommunications is one of the fastest-growing sectors in
Tanzania's economy and officials have said they hope share
listings will bring more transparency and give the public a
share of the industry's profits.
Some analysts, though, say rushing through several IPOs at
once could lead to unsold shares, given that only Tanzanians are
allowed to buy them.
(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; editing by Elias
Biryabarema, Greg Mahlich)