Friday 15 December 2017

Tullow to cross-list on Uganda market

Thomas Molloy

TULLOW Oil, the biggest company listed on the Dublin stock exchange, is preparing to cross-list some of its shares on the Ugandan stock market next month.

The company, which is also listed in London, is finalising plans to file documents with Uganda's Capital Markets Authority to enable it to cross-list on the Kampala bourse ahead of its planned oil and gas production in the Lake Albert basin, company executive Jimmy Kiberu said yesterday.

"We are currently on track to launch the cross-listing and share offering in October," he was quoted as saying while declining to reveal the number of shares to be listed.

Tullow started talks with Ugandan authorities in January for the cross-listing of its shares on the local stock exchange.

The company announced in March that it had appointed investment bank African Alliance to advise on the potential listing.

The Ugandan exchange is currently planning a new, separate index for Tullow Oil once it cross-lists. Tullow is worth four times the value of all 12 companies listed on the Ugandan stock market and the share movements in the explorer would distort the exchange without some kind of mechanism. Tullow has a secondary listing in Dublin so share fluctuations have little effect on the benchmark ISEQ index.

Hilary Onek, Uganda's energy and minerals minister, announced earlier this year that the government was considering making it mandatory for oil companies intending to operate in the country to cross-list their shares on the local stock market, in order to give Uganda's citizens more opportunities to invest in the country's oil sector.

The news came as the London-based 'Guardian' newspaper reported that hedge funds are targeting Tullow shares.

Recent discoveries off the Ghanaian coast have raised speculation about a possible takeover bid for the business, founded and run by former Aer Lingus accountant Aidan Heavey.

"Hedge funds are circling; there's a rush to natural resources," a hedge fund told the newspaper.

Shares in Tullow have jumped 48pc since March last year and rose again last week as several UK newspaper speculated that the company would soon be bought by a rival.

Irish Independent

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