Vodacom added to JSE Top-40 index

South Africa’s largest cellphone operator Vodacom Group will be added to the JSE Top-40 index of blue chips, the JSE said on Thursday.

The JSE said Vodacom will be added on the Top-40 index on May 18, with more than 525 million shares in issue. It added that Telkom, Africa’s largest telecoms firm, would remain in the index.

Vodacom is to be floated on the JSE on May 18 after joint owner Telkom distributes a 35% stake to shareholders and finalises a $2,6-billion deal to sell a further 15% to Britain’s Vodafone.

The listing, one of the biggest on the Johannesburg bourse in years, will give Vodafone a 65% stake in Vodacom and end a shareholder pact that restricted it to operations only in Southern Africa.

Telkom shareholders will get one Vodacom share per Telkom share, and its biggest investor, the South African government, has vowed to hold a 10% stake for at least a year.

Vodacom runs mobile networks in five African countries and bought Gateway Communications last year to beef up its data business, but has struggled to keep pace with the rapid expansion of rival MTN into Africa and the Middle East.—Reuters


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