Airtel Africa which has a dual listing in Lagos and London has a market capitalisation of N5.25 trillion, which is larger than the market capitalization of all Nigeria’s major banks combined including (Zenith, GTCO, UBA, FBN Holdings, Access Bank, Stanbic, Fidelity Bank, FCMB, Wema, Unity Bank, Sterling Bank and Union Bank).
Airtel Africa, the biggest listed firm in Nigeria is a mobile network operator operating in 14 African countries with low mobile and internet penetration.
“The company is well placed to capture the growth in internet usage in Africa over the next few years. Airtel’s growth has been fueled by robust increase in data revenue over the past couple of years and we expect this to continue,” said analysts at Tellimer research in a recent note.
Airtel shares hit all-time highs recently driven by mix of factors including FX concerns contributing to the rally.
Airtel Africa joined the FTSE 100 on 31 January, which may facilitate another increase in the stock price in the UK.
Airtel Africa is cleaning up its balance sheet – its leverage has declined significantly and debt to equity ratio has reduced to 75% from over 100% in the past year.
The clean-up is powered by increased profitability, capital freed up from tower sales and equity raised for its mobile money business – Airtel Mobile Commerce.
“This makes it possible for the company to take on more growth opportunities across the continent,” Tellimer research said.