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Umeme a Uganda Power Distributing Company Finally Lists 38.6 Percent Shares

Kampala, Uganda — Despite the Capital Markets Authority guidelines that include profitability for three consecutive years for a company to list on the Uganda Securities Exchange, power suppliers UMEME were finally allowed to list their shares on the stock market.

UMEME, which, according to their books of accounts released early this year, doesn't meet that guideline, after securing a loss in 2010 and a profit in 2011, were given a waiver go ahead to list according to the Capital Markets Authority Chief Executive Officer Mr. Japheth Katto.

"CMA approved the offer on October 11 and the company can go ahead with its Initial Public Offer scheduled for Monday 15 October," said Katto during a breakfast meeting UMEME held to announce its listing. Following that go ahead, UMEME has floated 38.6% of its shares to the public. According to Mr. Patrick Bitature, the UMEME chairman, the Initial Public Offer will first go to Ugandans before it rolls out to Kenya, East Africans and then to the rest of the world.

"UMEME is making considerable progress. It's a milestone and this IPO is one of them," Bitature told reporters.

He added UMEME's customer base has grown from 200,000 to over 1 million in a couple of years.

Mr. Charles Chapman, the company managing director noted up to June this year, UMEME has invested close to $150 million. He said about 9% Ugandans are connected to the national grid and the company has tremendously reduced power losses to 25% by September this year.

Their target is to reduce power loss by at least 15% in 2 years time. Katto urged the public top take up the UMEME offer. He also advised other companies to follow UMEME and sell shares to the public.

East African Business Week
15-October-2012

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