Pepper Interviews | MTN Uganda early this week announced the opening of its Initial Public Offer for 20% of its company’s shares, an opportunity for the public to apply for stake in the company. Stanbic Bank is MTN’s Transactional advisor for MTN’s Initial Public Offer. In this interview, Anne Juuko, the CEO of Stanbic Bank sheds light on MTN’s IPO for prospective investors.
From your expert opinion, would you consider the MTN IPO a good investment and why?
This is definitely a worthwhile investment when considering the macro-economic and industry environment. There is a low mobile penetration rate in Uganda of just over 60%, high population growth rates – with the adult population growth rates estimated at c. 4% p.a., and a GDP growth rate of +/- 5% in the medium term. This creates a very conducive environment for growth of the mobile telecommunications industry. Not to mention, the opportunity for growth within Data and Fintech service segments.
Furthermore, MTN holds a strong market positioning, with a market share in excess of 50%. All key indicators point to strong growth of the company.
Is the MTN offer incentivized to drive participation?
The offer provides for Incentive shares to be allotted to Ugandan Retail. Retail investors subscribing using the m-IPO portal and MTN mobile money are eligible to receive 10 incentive shares for every 100 shares subscribed for and allocated in the IPO, whist retail investors using the eIPO and/or other subscription and payment channels will be eligible to receive 5 incentive shares for every 100 shares subscribed for allocated.
These incentives have been provided to further drive our localisation agenda and achieve broad-based Ugandan ownership of the company. Further details on the offer can be found in the Prospectus.
What are the benefits of owning these shares?
There are many benefits associated with owning shares for example, when you buy shares of a company you become a part-owner of that company and therefore will be entitled to get a share of the profits of the company which come in form of dividends. You can also earn capital gains. This refers to the increase in the value of your investment in shares.
How do I apply for shares in MTN?
MTN in partnership with the Uganda Securities Exchange has created a platform that enables you to buy shares via mobile money from the comfort of your home. You simply need to dial *165*65# to open an SCD account, which serves as your account for shares. To open your SCD Account using MTN MoMo follow the steps below:
First Dial *165*65#
- Then select Option 1 to submit SCD Account Application
- Enter your full National ID Number (NIN)
- Select your preferred broker and then choose option 1 to accept terms and conditions
- Enter your mobile money PIN and wait for a confirmation SMS
- After setting up the account, please follow the prompts to apply and pay for the shares.
You may also apply for shares using USE’s Easy Portal web page at https://scd.use.or.ug/. This option is available to Applicants on a self-service or assisted basis. Assisted USE Easy-Portal applications involve the provision of guidance by an Authorised Selling Agent to an Applicant in populating and submitting an Application on the USE Easy-Portal.
How do I know that I have bought and received the shares?
You will receive a confirmation SMS on your phone once the payment has been made and received. After the IPO has closed, the company will allocate shares to applicants as per the allocation policy dictated in the Prospectus. Thereafter, you will receive a message confirming the shares credited to your SCD account.
What is the anticipated impact of the MTN IPO on the nascent capital market?
The MTN IPO will be the largest IPO in Uganda to date and will contribute to the further development of the capital markets in Uganda, by driving increased trading activity on the USE.
By introducing the option to purchase shares using Mobile Money, the MTN IPO is expected to drive significant growth in the number of retail investors trading on the exchange from 35,000 to a much larger target.
Given the economic conditions today resulting from the pandemic, what single most important advice would you give a potential investor today?
The local telco industry has actually experienced rapid growth over the past two years driven in part by the heightened adoption of mobile data and fintech services due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Pandemic had a positive impact on data usage, especially because a lot of people were working from home. There was, some negative impact on Voice revenue, because of reduced purchasing power during the lock-down months, but this was not significant.
When is the best time to buy shares during an IPO? Is there an advantage for potential investors who apply for the shares early in the offer stage to those towards the end?
All applications must be submitted before 4pm on the offer closing date, which is Monday, 22nd November. The allocation of shares is not based on the timing of receipt of the application but is rather based on the allocation policy dictated in the Prospectus for the various investor categories. As disclosed in the Prospectus, priority will be given first to Ugandan Retail Investors, then Ugandan Professional Investors, and then EAC investors and finally to foreign investors.
If I change my mind, how can I get my money back?
An application cannot be recalled once submitted. Investors, will have the option to sell their shares, should they wish to, after the listing date – which is Monday, 6th December.
Can I apply for these MTN shares if I am not an MTN customer?
Yes, you can. Non-MTN customers can use USE’s Easy Portal web page to create an SCD account and apply for shares. This can be done on a self-service or assisted basis. Kindly engage any of the five Authorised Selling Agents listed in the Prospectus or visit the nearest MTN service center or Stanbic bank branch for assistance.
What investor protection tips can you share?
Investors should only engage with any of the five Authorised Selling Agents (ASAs) as dictated in the Prospectus when submitting an IPO application. Funds to be paid will either be through MoMo on the m-IPO platform or will be deposited in IPO accounts designated to each of the ASAs in one of the 3 Receiving Banks (Stanbic, Standard Chartered or ABSA).
Investors should lodge any complaints they may have, first with their respective broker, and then escalated to the USE if a satisfactory response is not provided by their broker within 7 working days. And finally escalated to the CMA if a satisfactory response is not provided by the USE within 7 working days.