Vodacom Tanzania’s upcoming IPO is under-subscribed and it may seek an extension on a 19 April deadline as well as allow non-domestic participation, Bloomberg reported.

The report quoted Fortius Rutabingwa, head of market research at Orbit Securities, as saying uptake of the shares is “still below target” and the operator wants to allow East Africans to participate.

Core Securities, a brokerage, so far only has commitments to buy TZS100 billion ($44.7 million) worth of shares out of the TZS200 billion it targeted, the report added.

However, Rosalynn Mworia, head of corporate affairs at Vodacom Tanzania, told Bloomberg: “We have witnessed increased interest and applications over the past few days, which we hope will see to a successful close of Vodacom’s IPO”.

Vodacom is offering TZS476 billion worth of shares, the biggest IPO in Tanzania so far, which the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange expects to boost its market capitalisation by at least 2.4 percent to about TZS20.7 trillion.

Tanzania’s eight operators are obliged by law to float 25 per cent of their shares. Failure to comply could lead to fines or even loss of operating licences.

The country’s ownership rules prohibit non-domestic participation in the auction, and while the Capital Markets and Securities Authority believes Tanzanian investors will buy the shares, it may open them up to backers from other countries if the need arises, a representative said last month.