Workers eye MTC bonanza

Government has been left high and dry, after GIPF confirmed it will not be financing the purchase of shares in MTC, but will acquire them for itself.

29 March 2018 | Business

Workers are set to benefit from the unfolding scramble for MTC shares, with the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) confirming that it will seek to acquire substantial shares in the telecommunications firm for itself.

Government had approached GIPF in the past with a view to have the fund acquire the shares on its behalf, but had the rug swept from right under its feet yesterday when the pension fund said it would not be funding anyone, let alone government, to buy shares.

The MTC shares are up for grabs after Samba Dutchco B.V indicated that it would be selling its 34% stake in MTC.

Government currently owns 66% of the shares in MTC through the Namibia Post and Telecom Holdings (NPTH).

It was previously intimated that government would snap up the foreign-owned shares through NPTH and that this transaction would be financed with GIPF money.

Providing an update on the matter, GIPF spokesperson Daylight Ekandjo said yesterday: “We are in talks with relevant stakeholders that could see GIPF acquiring a substantial shareholding in MTC. This process will follow a due diligence to determine if we want to buy the shares which will be based on merit.”

According to her, GIPF is required under pension fund regulations to invest locally and a potential investment in MTC could help fulfil that objective.

“We are also of the opinion that should the due diligence find the MTC shares feasible it would be a good investment which will be done in our own name and not on behalf of any other entity,” Ekandjo said.

The GIPF, Ekandjo added, was on a constant quest to invest in high quality local assets at a good price and which offered market-related returns to its members and beneficiaries.

National Union of Namibian Workers secretary-general Job Muniaro welcomed the development, saying MTC would be fully localised if the GIPF deal goes through.

“It is good for us; Namibians will now have ownership of MTC. The money will not go out of the country and it is a good move for MTC to be owned 100% by Namibians,” Muniaro said.

Former information minister Tjekero Tweya first announced plans on behalf of government to acquire the 34% stake in MTC in 2016.

“Cabinet took note of the progress made with regard to the buyback of the 34% foreign-owned shares in MTC,” said Tweya.

The initial plan to buy the outstanding stake would see government, through NPTH, own a 100% stake in MTC for some time before reducing its shareholding to 51% by selling a stake to GIPF, and listing a portion on the local stock exchange.

To proceed with the deal, NPTH needed the approval of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (Cran).

Cran had longed lobbied to have the MTC stake sold to private entities instead, to encourage competition in the telecommunications sector.

“The decision would be non-compliant with the Act in that it will reduce competitiveness in the telecommunications market. There would be a reduction in private investment, and a reduction in local participation,” an official Cran document read.

NPTH, through board chairperson Ally Angula, rejected the conditions attached by Cran in terms of the MTC shares' deal.

She wrote to Cran in December last year, saying its fears of a possible monopoly were incorrect, and also played down the proposal to allow a minority shareholder to run the company, instead of government.

The battle for the MTC shares intensified last August when Tweya removed Angula as a NPTH board chair.

“The acts you have committed and such acts brought about the distrust, and therefore, as the appointing authority, I view such behaviour as unacceptable,” Tweya said at the time.

Angula has since been reinstated as NPTH chairperson.

Finance minister Calle Schlettwein in December 2016 dismissed the notion that the GIPF was merely bankrolling government acquisitions.

“There is a notion that government has its hands on the kitty of the GIPF. We cannot dictate to the GIPF what to do with its money,” said Schlettwein in response to whether government had compelled the GIPF to fund the acquisition of MTC shares.

“The shares will be warehoused by the GIPF. MTC is a well-managed company,” he said. Schlettwein said the government has liquidity problems, hence the use of GIPF money to buy the shares.

Warehousing is a procedure which sees one company gradually building up shares it wishes to transfer to another entity in future.

OGONE TLHAGE

Similar News

 

O&L Leisure takes ‘urgent rescue measures’

21 hours ago | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – The basic salaries of nearly 500 employees of O&L Leisure will be cut by between 25% and 50% for the next three...

Meeting the legal needs of people

21 hours ago | Business

Rivaldo Kavanga The firm is a general law practice. Their main areas of practice are criminal defence, labour law, commercial litigation, corporate governance, administrative law,...

Breathing deep

21 hours ago | Business

During the first week of the Breathe Namibia campaign, Agra and Woermann, Brock & Co staff handed over more than 50 Oxygenators to recipients in...

Authentically Namibian

21 hours ago | Business

Jeanette DiergaardtCompany Profile In April 2003, Sisa Namandje...

Company news in brief

21 hours ago | Business

Tesla mints nickel deal with BHPAnglo-Australian mining firm BHP said yesterday it had reached a deal to provide Tesla with supplies of nickel - a...

O&L Leisure to temporarily close two lodges

1 day - 22 July 2021 | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy - As part of “urgent rescue measures to safeguard the future sustainability of its business and mitigate the risk of the impact on...

South Africa unrest hits 40 000 businesses

1 day - 22 July 2021 | Business

At least 40 000 South African businesses were looted, burnt or vandalised during widespread rioting that broke out after the jailing of ex-president Jacob Zuma,...

COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF

1 day - 22 July 2021 | Business

BHP considering exiting oil business Global miner BHP Group is considering getting out of oil and gas in a multibillion-dollar exit as it looks to...

COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF

2 days ago - 21 July 2021 | Business

DHL to deploy longer distance drones Logistics giant DHL is working with Bulgarian aircraft developer Dronamics on rolling out cross-border and inter-city drones aimed at...

COMPANY NEWS IN BRIIEF

3 days ago - 20 July 2021 | Business

Nigeria chooses Dangote to import sugarNigeria has designated three companies, including Dangote Sugar Refinery, as the country's sole importers of sugar, the central bank said,...

Latest News

Bridging the healthcare divide saves...

21 hours ago | Columns

Celia Sofia StephanusIn December 2019, Covid-19 became something for the world to worry about. It was no longer something that was just happening in Asia....

Give me Namibia’s unemployment problem...

21 hours ago | People

Wetumwene Shikage She was born in Katutura, in a settlement known as Gemeente, which she describes with pride saying that after apartheid during...

Border posts’ revenue in Zambezi...

21 hours ago | Economics

Border posts in Zambezi recorded a 26% decrease in revenue during the 2020/21 financial year, regional governor Lawrence Sampofu has said.Delivering his State of the...

Making his way up the...

21 hours ago | People

Desiree GasesEddie King was born and raised in the Western Transvaal town of Klerksdorp. He grew up in a home with loving, committed and hard-working...

Maria Louw manages an integral...

21 hours ago | People

Michelline NawatisesAfter being at Paratus for 14 years, Maria Louw considers herself to be “part of the furniture”, but Paratus considers her part of the...

Meeting the legal needs of...

21 hours ago | Business

Rivaldo Kavanga The firm is a general law practice. Their main areas of practice are criminal defence, labour law, commercial litigation, corporate governance, administrative law,...

EDITORIAL: Namibia must listen to...

21 hours ago | Opinion

The oil search in the Kavango East Region gives Namibia another glimmer of hope for a prime resource breakthrough, but this has not been without...

Breathing deep

21 hours ago | Business

During the first week of the Breathe Namibia campaign, Agra and Woermann, Brock & Co staff handed over more than 50 Oxygenators to recipients in...

Emilia Eino takesing up her...

21 hours ago | People

Emilia Eino has been in the ICT industry for the past ten years. She first served as a development planner responsible for ICT infrastructure development...

Load More