Bangladesh's largest mobile phone operator Grameenphone is raising up to US$300 million in share placements and a domestic Initial Public Offering (IPO) - the largest yet seen in the country.
Grameenphone, 62 per cent owned by Norway's Telenor and 38 per cent by Grameen Telecom, plans to raise $150 million by floating shares on the Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchangesplus a further $150 million through the sale of pre-IPO shares.
"We are hopeful that Grameenphone's inclusion in the country's bourses will further highlight the potential of capital markets as an important engine of economic growth," says Mr. Anders Jensen, CEO of Grameenphone.
He adds, "It will also enable the people of Bangladesh to share the success of the company."
The Dhaka-based carrier operates one of the fastest-gowing networks in all of the Indian sub-continent and has a 46 per cent market share in its home country. Grameenphone has 20 million of the nation's 44 million mobile phone subscribers, more than twice as many as its nearest rival, Banglalink.
Grameen Telecom, a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2006 by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus and Iqbal Quadir, and they established the innovative and ground-breaking Village Phone programme with the help of Grameenphone.
Village Phone enables impoverished and isolated rural people in Bangladesh, mainly women, to own a mobile phone and turn it into a profit making business. Village Phone participants are trained on how to operate the mobile phone share scheme and how to charge others to use it at a reasonable profit.