Econet to list banking, mobile money unit separately

HARARE, (Reuters) – Econet Wireless Zimbabwe will split off and separately list its financial and insurance businesses on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange if shareholders approve the plan later this month, the company said on Thursday.

Econet is Zimbabwe’s largest mobile operator with a market capitalisation of $5.1 billion.

The company said in a circular to shareholders that it would demerge its life and insurance businesses, banking arm Steward Bank and popular mobile financial service Ecocash and list them separately under Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe Ltd.

Ecocash is the dominant mobile money service, accounting for more than 98 percent of all transactions in Zimbabwe.

Econet will also sell its 51 percent stake in the local unit of pan-African telecoms firm Liquid Telecom, worth $135 million, back to the parent company for the equivalent value of its shares.

That will give it a 10 percent holding in Liquid Telecom.

Liquid, which owns a fibre network across southern and east Africa, plans to list on a stock exchange outside Africa in future.