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DAR ES SALAAM, March 7 (Reuters) - The Tanzanian unit of telecoms firm Vodacom will start a more than month-long initial public offering (IPO) on March 9 and expects its shares to start trading in mid-May, the firm said on Tuesday.
The company, a subsidiary of South Africa's Vodacom and the biggest operator in Tanzania, aims to raise 476 billion shillings ($213.45 million) by selling 560 million shares.
It will become the first telecoms firm to launch an IPO under Tanzania's mandatory listing rules.
The firm set its IPO share price at 850 shillings each and the sale will be equivalent to 25 percent of its total equity.
The IPO will run from March 9 to April 19 and public trading of shares on Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) will commence on May 16, according to the prospectus.
The Vodacom Tanzania IPO would be the East African country's biggest ever, stock brokers told Reuters.
Industry players said they expect the IPO to attract strong interest from local investors. Foreign investors cannot take part in the IPO but can invest after the listing.
"There is a lot of appetite in the market. Many investors have been waiting for this particular IPO," said George Sawe, a stock broker at Dar es Salaam-based Zan Securities Ltd.
Vodacom Tanzania filed for an IPO with the Capital Markets and Securities Authority (CMSA) in November to meet a government requirement for telecoms firms to list at least 25 percent of their shares. The application was approved last week.
The other two major mobile operators, Millicom subsidiary Tigo and a local unit of India's Bharti Airtel , have also submitted their prospectuses, but their IPOs have yet to be approved. ($1 = 2,230.0000 Tanzanian shillings) (Reporting by Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; Editing by Elias Biryabarema and Edmund Blair)