Warid Telecom, a Bangladesh based telecom operators which Bharti Airtel acquired 70% stake in, in January this year, may be among 24 companies in the country that are asked to become a public limited company, reports The Financial Express (Bangladesh). According to the rules of Bangladesh’s stock market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), “a private limited company shall convert itself into a public limited company within six months from the date its existing paid-up capital and the further capital it intends to raise exceeds, in total Tk 400 million.”
Tk 400 million amounts to approximately $5.7 million, or Rs. 265 million. The report quotes Joint Stock Companies and Firms’ (RJSC) Registrar Ahmedur Rahim, as saying that the SEC will issue show-cause notices to the such companies, and the report lists 24 of those, including Warid, quoting sources.
This issue, apparently, is not new. According to a report in BDNews24.com in 2007, the SEC had asked the same of Warid just months after its launch in Bangladesh, and then asked the company to issue shares to the public within three years of launching commercial operations. It’s almost three years since that report.
As per Airtel’s quarterly report, issued last month, Warid has over 2.5 mn customers, and offers mobile services across 64 districts of Bangladesh with a distribution network over 46,000 retailers. For its mobile operations in South Asia (including India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka), Airtel reported revenues of Rs. 88.23 billion, and an EBITDA of Rs. 31.71 billion, for the quarter ended June 30th 2010. It does not publish financial details on a quarterly basis for Warid.
Airtel had acquired 70% stake in Warid for an investment of $300.1 million.