Swaziland Government in Talks to Transfer Stake in MTN


The government of Swaziland is to hold talks with the local subsidiary of MTN regarding the transfer of the government's indirect stake in the company to the government's Ministry of Finance.

Swazi MTN is a joint-venture between South Africa's MTN and the state-owned Swaziland Posts and Telecommunications Corp. Under the terms of the venture, SPTC is barred from offering mobile services as it is a shareholder in MTN. The government is now looking to unlock the market by taking SPTC's shares in MTN so that there is no longer a conflict of interest.

However, MTN has some rights of first refusal if the shares are "sold" by SPTC, and is holding out for its long desired international carrier license from the government before agreeing to its request.
Countering that request is a proposal currently being considered that would grant Sptc a five-year monopoly on landline services in the country - which could affect MTN's own backhaul plans.