The listing of Airtel Malawi plc on Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) yesterday brought smiles on the faces of shareholders and investors, with its share price rising by 41.7 percent to trade at K17.99 each.
This is a jump from the Initial Public Offering (IPO) price of K12.69 per share.
Market players have since described the listing as a vote of confidence from the investing public, adding that it will provide diversified products on the now 15-counter shares market.
The listing follows an IPO of 2.2 billion shares, which was oversubscribed by 34 percent, raising K27.9 billion.
The listing comes a year after Icon Properties plc listed on the MSE in January last year, and almost 10 years after the last listing in 2008.
In an interview yesterday in Blantyre during the listing, which was attended by Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology Mark Botomani, Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor Dalitso Kabambe and industry captains, Airtel Malawi plc managing director Charles Kamoto expressed excitement for finally listing on the
He said: “We are excited that we have listed on the MSE and, most importantly, that on the very first day of listing after a whole lot of tough work, our share price has gained significantly.
“Our role is to ensure that the company performs well and we will do that with diligence and hopefully our performance will lead to further growth.”
On his part, Kabambe urged corporates to emulate the gesture by Airtel to turn to the stock market as a capital-raising avenue and enhance their transparency.
In his remarks, MSE chief executive officer John Kamanga said the listing is good for both the stock exchange and the company as it presents increased operational efficiencies and efficient process of capital.
“To us this show confidence in the company and the market that the counter was well valued,” he said.
As at 12.50 hours yesterday, the firm, with 11 billion shares in issue and a market capitalisation of K197.8 billion, traded 1.2 million shares in 11 trades, raising about K22.23 million.
Commenting on the development, Stockbrokers Malawi Limited chief executive officer Noel Kadzakumanja described the listing as a milestone.
He said: “Seeing from the reaction of the market where the share price has risen by 41 percent from the initial offer of K12.69 to K17.99 on the first trade, the listing is definitely good for MSE.
“We urge other corporates to emulate the gesture by Airtel which has raised about K27 billion, proving that the MSE is an ideal vehicle for raising capital.” Botomani commended Airtel Malawi plc for listing on the shares market, saying this is in line with the country’s Communications Act of 2016, which requires the company to have at least 20 percent local shareholding.
The listing of Airtel Malawi increases the number of listed counters on the MSE to 15.
Meanwhile, the local shares market is also anticipating two listings from the financial sector this year, with one of them by FDH Bank by June this year.