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Bharti Airtel to give Tanzania bigger stake in local telecoms firm - presidency

Reuters  |  DAR ES SALAAM 

(Reuters) - has agreed to give part of its stake in to the government, raising the East African nation's holding in the to 49 percent from 40 percent, the president's office said on Friday.

The announcement followed talks in between and to resolve a dispute over ownership of the Tanzanian

would retain a 51 percent stake in the company, the president's office said, without giving a value for shares being transferred to the government.

had no immediate comment on the announcement.

Magufuli had said in 2017 that state-run Telecommunications Company Ltd (TTCL) owned the of Bharti Airtel outright but had been cheated out of shares.

Bharti Airtel had disputed this, saying it received all the required approvals from the state when it bought a 60 percent stake and had complied with all government rules.

Magufuli said in Friday's statement that, in addition to giving the government more shares, Bharti Airtel had agreed to pay dividends to the state.

"It's great that they have agreed to give dividends to the government, which for eight to 10 years we had not received. The percentage of dividends is still under discussion," the said.

Magufuli's ownership claim over the Tanzanian mobile firm had rattled foreign investors, who were already unnerved by his government's crackdown on firms operating in the East African nation.

Other Mobile in Tanzania include Tanzania, part of South Africa's Vodacom, Tigo Tanzania, which is part of Sweden's and Halotel, owned by Vietnam-based

In 2016, the ordered telecoms companies to list at least a quarter of their units on Tanzania's stock exchange to increase domestic ownership.

(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; Additional reporting by in Nairobi; Editing by and Edmund Blair)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 11 2019. 17:40 IST