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Govt advised to sell its Airtel shares via bourse

29th January 2013
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(DSE) Chief Executive Officer, Gabriel Kitua

The government has been advised to offload a portion of its stakes in the mobile network provider, Airtel and have the same listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock exchange (DSE) to make the latter become vibrant.

This was said last week in Dar es Salaam by the outgoing DSE Chief Executive Officer, Gabriel Kitua, when explaining on the progress and challenges facing the stock market.
 
He told members of the Parliamentary Parastatal Organisations Accounts Committee (POAC) that the government needs to show the way in order to increase market participation in the bourse.
The government has stakes in various companies, but it should start looking for a way to reduce some portions and list the same on the bourse, he suggested.
 
He proposed that the 40 percentage stakes which the government has in Airtel should now be reduced and be given to locals through the stock market.
 
"The government should offload at list the 25 percent shares in the mobile firm which would allow more people to own shares and stimulate the economy," he proposed.
Asked the reasons that have made few Tanzanians to own shares in the bourse, Kitua said, a lot of efforts are needed to increase the number.
 
"Today, we have less than 200,000 locals in the stock market, the amount is relatively very small compared to the population," he said.
 
According to him, DSE has planned massive awareness campaign to be carried mid next month countrywide.
 
“We want to educate Tanzanians and firms on the importance of participating in stock market in order to increase the number and stimulate the economy,” he said.
 
He said he is optimistic that the enacted law which allows mining and telecommunication firms to list their shares on the bourse has come at the right time.
 
Speaking earlier, POAC chairman Zitto Kabwe said already the parliament has enacted a law which requires all local telecommunication and mining firms to list their shares on the bourse.
 
“Time has come for your stock market personnel to make sure that this is done and they do so to enable more people to own shares,” he said.
“We have a good number of profit making privatised firms which are not listed on the bourse without apparent reasons,” he said. 
 
He said many developed countries are using their bourse for development activities.
However the government through the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology was once quoted as saying that when the right time comes, Tanzanians will be mobilised to purchase shares under special guidelines adhering to laws and principles to allow people’s participation in economic growth by buying shares in Airtel Tanzania Limited.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN