In East Africa, where some businessmen are celebrating substantial gains in their net worth due to the performance of their investments in listed companies, Ugandan tycoon Charles Mbire, the wealthiest investor on the Uganda Stock Exchange, has experienced significant losses amounting to millions of dollars from his stake in MTN Uganda.
As of the drafting of this report, the market value of Mbire’s 3.99-percent stake in MTN Uganda has plummeted by Ush13.42 billion ($3.6 million) since Jan. 1, decreasing from Ush161.01 billion ($43.16 million) to Ush147.6 billion ($39.5 million).
This decline in the market value of Charles Mbire’s stake, which has had a substantial impact on his overall net worth, can be attributed to the prevailing bearish sentiment on the Uganda Stock Exchange, leading to a decline in the company’s share price.
Despite the drop in its share price by 8.33 percent from Ush180 ($0.0483) to Ush165 ($0.0442) since the start of the year, MTN Uganda remains the most valuable company on the local bourse, with a market capitalization of Ush3.7 trillion ($1.07 billion).
MTN Uganda, as the fourth subsidiary of the MTN Group, has firmly established itself as the leading telecom operator in the country, serving an impressive 97 percent of the population.
With a subscriber base of more than 17 million, the company has not only solidified its presence domestically but has also extended its reach globally.
In 2022, MTN Uganda exceeded expectations with its financial results, reporting a profit of Ush406.1 billion ($109.6 million), representing a 19.3-percent increase from the previous year’s Ush321.68 billion ($87 million) profit.
The company’s success can be attributed to its robust financial technology and data services, including mobile money solutions that facilitate fund transfers, payments, and other commercial transactions for its clients.
Despite facing challenging macroeconomic conditions, characterized by slow economic growth, a weaker shilling, rising inflation, and increasing interest rates in the first three quarters of the year, MTN Uganda managed to achieve revenue growth of 9.7 percent, rising from Ush1.88 trillion ($508 million) to Ush2.06 trillion ($556.5 million).
Despite Mbire’s recent losses, MTN Uganda’s strong financial performance and market position indicate promising prospects for the telecom giant in East Africa.