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TNM shareholders fear subdued share prices

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Minority shareholders for publicly listed integrated ICT and mobile phone services provider TNM plc fear subdued share prices for the company at the back of what they call unsatisfying dividend declaration.

They expressed the worry during the company’s 27th annual general meeting held in Blantyre on Friday.

During the AGM, the company’s financial statements showed that, for the year ending December 31 2021, it has reported a total dividend of K4.3 billion, representing K0.43 per ordinary share.

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But one of the minority shareholders, Frank Harawa, said the firm’s competitor offered better dividend while operating in the same business environment.

“With the performance, the share price will be highly impacted because people will now know that, with such a performance, the possibilities of having a dividend declared are very narrow in the coming years, which may led to people offloading their shares, thereby reducing the share price,” Harawa said.

According to figures from the Malawi Stock Exchange, by close of business last week, TNM shares were trading at K14.

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A day prior to the AGM, TNM released a trading statement indicating that its profit for the half year ending June 30 2022 will be subdued by about 130 percent compared to the same period last year.

Speaking after the AGM, TNM Board Chairperson Ted Phiri said the performance of the company has been hampered by many problems, the latest being the devaluation of the Kwacha by 25 percent which has increased the company’s expenses by K2 billion.

Phiri was, however, optimistic that the company will turn around and start giving out what he described as rewarding dividends to the shareholders.

“Our inspiration is to make a good return for the shareholders, I do not want to say more but they have to be better than we had; so, we are working very hard to achieve that,” Phiri said.

TNM is a publicly listed company with a controlling share stake being held by Press Corporation plc at 41.31 percent followed by Old Mutual Life Assurance Company Malawi Limited at 23.65 percent, then Nico Life Insurance Company Limited at 5.63 percent and the general public holding 29.41 percent.

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