MTN Ghana adopts mobile money to trade shares for its first US$745 million IPO

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

MTN Ghana has emerged as the first telecommunication company in Africa to adopt the use of Mobile Money in its first Initial Public Offer (IPO) trading on the Ghanaian stock market.

Ghana’s leading telecommunication with 17.8m subscribers representing a 47.6% market share as part of the IPO will also be using it online platforms as well to sell shares.

 “I am very delighted to say that we are also allowing shares to be bought through Mobile Money. Our checks from GSMA confirms that this is the first time that Mobile Money will be used to buy shares in an IPO (and subsequently trade them) anywhere in Africa OR the world over,” Vice President for Southern, Eastern Africa and Ghana and Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, Ebenezer Twum Asante confirmed to Biztechfrica in an exclusive interview.

According him “this channel demonstrates another use case for Mobile Money and will accelerate financial inclusion in the capital markets of Ghana, for many people in the length and breadth of this country who would not ordinarily have access to the capital markets.”

Through the Initial Public Offer, MTN Ghana seeks to raise about of GHS3.48 billion (over US$745 million) with each share sold at GHp75. The offer is expected to end on July 31 and possibly list on the Ghana Stock Exchange on September 5, 2018.

MTN Ghana on the 20th of April, 2018, received approval from regulatory bodies including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) and the Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) to proceed with the 35 per cent IPO which forms part of MTN’s 4G LTE license requirement in which the company had to sell 35% of its shares to Ghanaians by June 2018. 

Speaking during the official launch of the IPO at the luxurious Marriot Hotel in Accra, Mr. Twum Asante acknowledged the immense contribution of the operation of Mobile Money on the Ghanaian economy and hope that Ghanaians across the country will take advantage of the opportunity to buy shares using mainly their mobile money wallets.

“We have more than 200,000 retailers and our Mobile Money service has contributed significantly to employment creation with jobs for over 100,000 merchant points across the country who received a total of 4.4 million USD (GHS19.6m) as commission in 2017. Thus, our excitement is rooted in the fact that Ghanaians, by investing in MTN Ghana, will benefit (and share our risks) as we maintain our track record of investing in our business, focusing on high growth opportunities and delivering attractive financial returns, double-digit revenue, strong profit margins and a dividend payout target of 60.00%, to our shareholders,” he stated.

Mr. Asante also believes that with the current huge investments within the country’s tech space, MTN Ghana is well positioned to benefit significantly from the progressive turnaround of Ghana’s economic fortunes.

“Growth and innovation in Ghana’s telecom industry, which has been ranked as the most attractive place for telecom investment by BMI, will continue to be driven by steady capital investment, sustained migration to high speed 4G network, accelerated data growth, market consolidation and an increase in mobile financial services such as mobile money, mobile insurance, mobile banking, mobile investments, mobile shopping, to name a few,” he added.

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