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President Magufuli lays ownership claim to Airtel Tanzania

Airtel Tanzania is the largest company on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.

Tanzania Telecommunications Co. owns the Airtel Tanzania and the government now wants to reposes it after the telcomunication firm  was irregularly transferred to private ownership, according to Tanzanian president, John Magufuli.

The Tanzania operations of Johannesburg-based Vodacom Group Ltd. became the largest company on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange when it raised 476 billion shillings ($213 million) in August.

As of end September, the company was the country’s third-largest wireless carrier, with 10.6 million voice subscribers.

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Airtel has yet to list Airtel Tanzania, in which the government has a 40 percent stake.

Magufuli instructed Finance Minister Philip Mpango to follow up on the claim.

"Follow up on the ownership of Airtel. According to the information we have, it (Airtel) is owned by TTCL,” President Magufuli said.

Dar es Salaam-based communications director Beatrice Singano-Mallya declined to comment.

Bharti Airtel is increasingly reliant on international operations after a price war in its home market has led to a profit slump.

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The company agreed to buy the Tigo-branded operations of Millicom International Cellular SA in Rwanda on Tuesday, adding to at least 15 other territories in sub-Saharan Africa.

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