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Airtel Africa awaits regulatory approval for London Stock Exchange listing1 minute read

The telecom firm may raise $1 billion through an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange

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Airtel Africa eyes London stock market listing

Airtel Africa has submitted registration documents to the UK Financial Conduct Authority to list shares on the London Stock Exchange.

The documents, if approved, will allow Airtel Africa to list equity shares on London Stock Exchange in a bid to reduce its existing debts.

The telecom firm, a subsidiary of Indian telecoms group, Bharti Airtel Ltd, may raise $1 billion through an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange, offering 25% of its shares.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Airtel Africa, while commenting on the planned listing, says the company is in a “strong position” to build its own capital market profile.

“Since first investing in Africa almost nine years ago, we have well leveraged our expertise in emerging markets to deliver on a clearly-defined strategy to build Airtel Africa into a market leading mobile service provider, increasingly expanding beyond voice into data services and Airtel Money. Today, Airtel Africa is the second largest mobile operator in Africa,” Mittal adds.

With the recent equity investments into the business by globally recognised long-term investors, we believe that Airtel Africa is in a strong position to build its own capital market profile, allowing others to join us in a real business success story”.

Last year, Airtel Africa Ltd, a subsidiary of India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd, appointed eight banks for an intended Initial Public offering  (IPO) on an international stock exchange.

The global banks are JP Morgan, Citigroup Inc, BofA Merrill Lynch, Absa Group Limited, Barclays BankPlc, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs International, and Standard Bank Group Ltd.

In a statement released late October, the telecom firm said the initial pubic offering will be used to further reduce its $5 billion existing debt and grow the continent’s market.

Airtel currently operates across 14 African countries with Nigeria as its largest market.

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Heavy rains threaten Uganda’s coffee crop quality

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Uganda’s coffee crop quality could see a decline in the coming months as heavy rains across the country have reduced the amount of sunshine necessary for bean drying.

Uganda is Africa’s largest exporter of coffee followed by Ethiopia and grows mostly robusta variety.

The country has been pounded by unusually heavy rains that started in August resulting in deaths, displacement and extensive damage to roads and other infrastructure.

Western Uganda, including the foothills of the Rwenzori mountains , some of the biggest coffee growing areas, has received some of the most intense rains.

Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), the state-run regulator, forecasts Uganda’s bean exports will climb 16 percent to 5.1 million 60-kg (132-pound) bags in the current crop year ending September.

The country’s coffee output has surged in recent years, the fruition of a government programme that has been distributing free seedlings to farmers to expand acreage and replace aging trees.

Authorities say their target is to help boost annual production to 20 million bags by 2025.

The beans have traditionally been Uganda’s biggest commodity export but were recently overtaken by gold which now annually earns the country over $1 billion.

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Business rescue team rule out mid-June return for SAA flights

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South African Airways business rescue practitioners have rejected an “unvetted” statement released by the state-owned airline indicating plans to resume domestic flights from mid-June.

The national carrier had on Tuesday, announced that its planes will be back in the skies between Johannesburg and Cape Town.

But Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana, the business rescue administrators, say the airline had breached communications protocol by issuing a statement which “created an unfair expectation on our relevant stakeholders, including SAA’s customers, as well as employees who are on unpaid absence as a result of the travel ban which led to the halting of the company’s operations, compounding its financial distress.”

SAA’s media statement had gone out without the approval of the practitioners as demanded by the business rescue procedure.

With the government of South Africa announcing that the country will enter into lockdown alert level 3 from June 1, domestic air travel will be permitted but only for business purposes.

The business rescue practitioners said SAA planes will remain grounded until a better understanding of what the level 3 regulations entail.

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Tanzania, France sign water supply loan agreement

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Tanzania has signed a loan agreement with France to finance water supply projects that will benefit about 770,000 people in the country’s Morogoro municipality.

The French government will extend the loan worth about $76 million to Tanzania through its French Development Agency (AFD), according to Dotto James, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning who signed the agreement on behalf of Tanzania.

“Upon completion, the water supply in the Morogoro municipality will increase from the current 37,000 cubic meters a day to 108,000 cubic meters a day,” James told a press conference following a signing ceremony in Morogoro.

AFD Country Representative for Tanzania, Stephanie Mouen says the project will improve the well-being of the people in the municipality and it will also improve the environment.

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