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TANZANIA - Vodacom Tanzania, a unit of South Africa’s Vodacom Group, has sold all the 560 million shares on offer in its stock market flotation, with 40% bought by international investors, the company said. 

The deadline for the conclusion of the sale, which raised $213 million as planned, had been extended twice and foreign investors allowed to participate after local buyers failed to take up all the shares on offer.  

Vodacom described the initial public offering (IPO), Tanzania’s biggest, as “a significant landmark transaction for the country” having attracted more than 40 000 local investors, most of whom were first-time participants in the country’s stock market. A listing on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange was tentatively set for August 15, the company said. 

The IPO was part of government-imposed rules on all telecoms companies to list part of their equity locally and foreigners were initially banned from participating in the share sale. 

That led the sale, which opened on March 9, to be under-subscribed and forced the government to lift the embargo on offshore investors in June. The number of cellphone subscribers in Tanzania increased by 0.9 percent last year to 40.17 million, driven by the launch of cheaper devices.

-REUTERS