Airtel Africa, one of the continent’s leading telecoms companies, has announced the sale of 666,174 ordinary shares by its CEO, Olusegun Ogunsanya. The deal that was carried out on August 4 at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) involved the sale of 666,174 shares at the rate of £1.37 per share.
Following the sale, Ogunsanya gained £757, 440.70 which, according to the telco, will be used to fund a property purchase. It’s worth noting that Ogunsanya still owns 4,325,282 ordinary shares in the telco. Airtel Africa is listed on both the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) and the LSE (LSE).
This announcement follows the disclosure of Airtel Africa’s financial statements for Q1 of 2023. According to the reports, the telco recorded a significant loss of $151 million in the period of review. This was prompted by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to unify the exchange rate as part of efforts to stabilize the local currency.
Following the unification, the Naira to Dollar exchange rate jumped from N460 to $1, to $790 to a dollar. As of last week, the rate hit N900, causing the pump price of petrol to increase. While analysts have claimed the current events are necessary for the country’s economic woes to end, the average Nigerian may not be so optimistic.
Airtel Africa’s stake in the African market
A subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, Airtel Africa is a major provider of telecom services in all regions of the continent. It is the primary operator in Chad, Malawi, and Niger. In Nigeria, it’s the 3rd in terms of market share. Zooming into the West African country, it’s worth mentioning the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) disclosed its report for 2022.
Based on the regulator’s findings, Airtel Nigeria attained 27% of the country’s market share, the same percentage as Globacom. However, its number of subscribers (60,065,904) is slightly lower than Glo’s haul (60,290,012).
Meanwhile, Airtel has made some notable efforts to gain more subscribers across the regions where it operates. In Kenya for instance, it recently launched the much-awaited 5G network. Although it is the second-largest market leader in Kenya, its influence is greatly dwarfed by Safaricom.
In Nigeria, too, the telco recently released 5G to consumers, making it the second major telco to do so after MTN Nigeria. There’s no update on the 5G launch plans for Glo and 9 Mobile. And while market leader MTN already has that service in operation, it’ll be interesting to see how Airtel fares in the 5G battle.
Last week, Airtel also announced a fresh collaboration with MasterCard to enable its customers across Africa to transfer funds with ease. Its impact is yet to be seen.
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