Econet Spins off Ecocash Eyes Separate Listing

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Econet Wireless Zimbabwe
courtesy of TheZimbabweIndependent

Mobile operator Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited says it plans to de-merge and separately list its mobile money platform Ecocash on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

In a statement the Company confirmed the development urging investors to exercise caution when dealing with the company’s shares.

“Shareholders, debenture holders and members of the investing public are advised to continue to exercise caution and consult their professional advisors before dealing in the company’s shares until the full details of the transactions are announced or upon withdrawal of this cautionary,” said Banda.

The mobile money transfer service, now headed by Natalie Payida Jabangwe, was officially launched in 2011, and, within 18 months of its launch, 31 percent of Zimbabwe’s adult population registered to the service.

According to statistics from the industry regulator, POTRAZ by 2017 the service had over 6.7 million registered users, accounting for 80 percent of adult Zimbabweans or 52 percent of all citizens.

Ecocash was formed 7 years ago modelled around Kenya’s MPESA which is controlled by Safaricom and likewise has been a phenomenon over the years.

The Ecocash story has largely been sweetened by the cash crisis in Zimbabwe which has driven demand for alternative transacting platforms.

Ecocash together with the digitally banking institution Steward have seen their revenue contribution to total Econet group revenue grow significantly coming from 10 percent in 2015 to 29 percent in 2018.

Meanwhile, plans to list Econet subsidiary Liquid Telecom Holdings on an international stock market are also proceeding apace.

Banda said Econet would exchange its 51 percent shareholding in Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe for a stake of equivalent value in the holding company in advance of the international listing.

The Econet group is the largest company listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in terms of market capitilisation and the separation will make slightly reduce its standing on the board to the second largest.

It was founded by Strive Masiyiwa in 1993 and now has operations across Africa as well as in Europe, South America, North America and the East Asia Pacific Rim.

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