23 January 2018

Tanzania: Halotel Makes Progress in Floating IPO At Dar Bourse

Dar es Salaam — Halotel Tanzania has submitted its prospectus to the Capital Markets and Security Authority (CMSA) to be considered for floating an initial public offering (IPO) at Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE).

CSMA principal public relations officer Charles Shirima confirmed that Halotel the company submitted its prospectus late last year.

Halotel is among telecommunications companies that are yet to float 25 per cent of their shares through an initial public offering at DSE in accordance with the Electronic and Postal Communication Act (2010).

"We returned the prospectus to Halotel because it lacked some regulatory requirements. After we finalise working on it, the company shares will be floated at the market," he said.

If the prospectus is approved by CMSA, Halotel Tanzania, which is owned by the Vietnamese government, will be the second to float an IPO behind Vodacom Tanzania, which was listed last year.

The quarterly communications statistics report of 2017, shows that Halotel had the lowest tariffs on SMS both locally and internationally, charging Sh30 and Sh95 respectively. Halotel had 3.7 million voice subscribers as of September, last year, which was 9 per cent of the mobile telecom market share.

According to the report, 442,512 people subscribed for Halotel mobile money, which made two per cent of total mobile money subscription. Recently, organisers of the International Business Awards (Steve Awards 2017) named Viettel Tanzania PLC, which trades as Halotel Tanzania, as the fastest-growing enterprise in Africa and the Middle East.

For the past two years, Halotel Tanzania has managed to register 3.5 million customers, ranking fourth among eight telecoms operating in Tanzania. The firm overtook some mobile operators that have existed longer. Halotel was launched in October 2015 and deployed in all 26 Tanzanian regions. This was Viettel's fourth investment in Africa after Movitel, Lumitel and Nexttel in Mozambique, Burundi and Cameroon respectively. Viettel started investing in the country in 2011 and planned $736 million in investment after then-President Jakaya Kikwete visited Vietnam.

The entry of Viettel also saw further liberalisation of the communication sector, with the government allowing private companies to lay their own optic fibre cables. The company had promised to connect several public institutions around the country with the optic fibre network and connect over 1,500 villages to the telecommunications grid that were previously not served. The company also tried to partner with state-owned energy company Tanzania Electric Supply Company to use the utility firm's power poles to serve as antennas.

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