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MTN targets 30% local ownership by end of year

The nation’s largest telecommunication company, MTN Ghana, has achieved a 23.7 percent localisation of its ownership, Group President and Chief Executive Officer Ralph Mupita has revealed.

The company, in its 2021 report, stated that for ease of implementation and to further deepen localisation it will implement a 30 percent localisation for both Scancom PLC and Mobile Money Limited.

At a media engagement, the MTN Group CEO said: “We have committed as the MTN Group to further localise and have more Ghanaians owning the shares of MTN Ghana and we want to get to 30 percent, which is the target we are committed to. We have made progress; we are now at precisely 23.7 percent; so we have another 6.3 percent of shares to localise.”

“The reason we want that is to have more and more Ghanaians to enjoy and participate in the economic success of Ghanaians, because they are also the consumers,” he explained.

As of the trading session on Friday, May 20, 2021, MTN market capitalisation stood at GH¢11.06billion out of the GH¢62.52billion, with about 12.29 billion issued shares at GH¢0.99 per share. “So that programme of further localisation remains intact and all things go well, we are targetting to gauge at 30 percent no later than the end of the year,” he emphasised.

“We think more and more Ghanaians individuals and institutions should own part of the assets and drive deeper liquidity in the local market so the stock price can go up. Liquidity is obviously a function, and we are very alive to the fact of what the MTN shares do on the Ghanaian stock exchange.”

Amid the declining share price of MTN, Mr. Mupita noted that whether the share price would decline or not cannot be guaranteed: “However, the aim is to deliver on shareholder value through the medium-term guidance that we have committed to shareholders.

“On the share price, we can’t guarantee the share price won’t go down, but we can give a guarantee that we will do our best to deliver on shareholder value through the medium-term guidance we have committed to shareholders. This medium-term guidance ensures high service revenue growth,” he said.

Equity Market and E-levy

MTN has seen its share price fall in the weeks following introduction of the E-Levy – dragging the local market down with it.

Historically, MTN is responsible for circa 80 percent of trades on the market; but the technology stock has lost 18.9 percent off its year-beginning price valuation of GH¢1.11 on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) in terms of year-to-date (YtD) performance.

The drop is consistent with a slump that began about six months ago – around the levy’s announcement in November – and has had the stock lose 29 percent of its value in that period. “But the share price is driven by all sorts of problems – including the global sell-off of emerging market share/equities indiscriminately without looking at quality of the stocks; the second is strengthening of the dollar, which is a consequence of the Russian-Ukraine war,” he said.

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