Zambia Starts Sale of $131 Million Stake in State Mining Company

Zambia, Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, began the sale of a 17 percent stake in its mining investment company that’s expected to fetch about one-billion kwacha ($131 million).

An offer of about 27 million shares prioritizing Zambian investors opened Friday and closes Oct. 2, said Jimmy Mwambazi, corporate finance manager at Stockbrokers Zambia Ltd., which is managing the sale.

“It’s a large amount” of stock for the Zambian market and shares that locals don’t buy may be offered to foreign investors, Mwambazi said in an interview Thursday in Lusaka, the capital.

Zambia sold a 571 million kwacha stake in ZCCM Investments Holdings to the National Pension Scheme Authority in June, the first step in government’s plan to reduce its ownership to 60 percent from 87.5 percent. The company houses the government’s minority ownership in the local units of First Quantum Minerals Ltd., Glencore Plc and Vedanta Resources Plc., among others.

ZCCM IH was created as part of a government program to reverse nationalization of the mining industry that was completed in 2000. The company plans to have its stock trade on London’s Alternative Investment Market, Chief Executive Officer Pius Kasolo said in a speech Thursday, without giving details on timing.

The government is selling the ZCCM shares for 38 kwacha each, a discount to the 40 kwacha they trade at on the Lusaka Stock Exchange.

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