Kenyan regulator tightens rules for telecom investment

Kenyan regulator, the Communications Commission of Kenya’s (CCK), has rolled out new regulations aimed at tightening its grip on multimillion dollar telecom deals in the country. The new directive will require owners of ICT firms to get the regulator’s approval for any planned share sale.
Business Daily reports that the recent move by the CCK is aimed at ridding the industry of speculators bent on buying ICT firms with the aim of selling them at a premium.
“A licensee shall require prior written consent of the commission, which shall notify the applicant of its acceptance or refusal within 30 days of receipt of the request,” say the legal notice containing the fresh regulations.
CCK can agree to or veto any buyout deal exceeding 15 per cent, according to the regulations published on May 28 and which also require existing shareholders buying additional stake of at least five per cent to seek the regulator’s permission.
“The regulator wants to know the nature and thinking of the investors buying local firms,” says Mr Vincent Mutavi, an independent telecom analyst.
“The intention is to eliminate speculative investors and reduce the ongoing market concentration in the hands of deep-pocketed firms with money to buy smaller rivals,” he said.

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