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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 4 March, 2003, 07:06 GMT
Telkom shares jump on debut
Telkom logo
Telkom shares were in demand by foreign investors
Shares in South Africa's phone utility Telkom have jumped 4% on their first day of trade on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

In early trading, shares went for 29.20 rand, in what is South Africa's largest privatisation to date.

The government priced shares at 28 rand each, near the bottom end of the price range set on Monday, which will bring in 3.9bn rand (313m; $494m) for the state coffers.

The sale fell short of raising the 10bn rand that the government initially forecast in its budget.

The sale also forms a key part of the government's policy to promote private share ownership.

If the share price stays above its listing level then it would reflect favourably on the ruling African National Congress ahead of elections next year.

Telkom debut

Trade in Telkom shares started at 0700 GMT in Johannesburg and will also debut in New York later on Tuesday.

The majority of the 139.3 million shares on offer, one-quarter of Telkom's equity, were sold to US institutional and retail investors.

The sale values Telkom at 15.6bn rand, well down from the height of the telecoms boom a few years ago when it was thought to be worth about 100bn rand.

SBC Communications of the US and Telekom Malaysia jointly own a 30% stake in Telkom which they bought in 1997 for 5.8bn rand.




WATCH AND LISTEN
David Shapiro, CapitalCorp analyst, Johannesburg
"I would describe it as fairly successful...."



SEE ALSO:
Telkom float price cut
03 Mar 03 |  Business


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