The International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank’s private investment arm, has announced plans to invest $160 million in Safaricom Ethiopia.

Partly owned by Kenyan telecoms operator Safaricom (55.7%), the company started operations in August in the country’s Dire Dawa city and Haramaya this month.

If the planned investment takes place, Safaricom and its partners in the Ethiopian venture will see their combined stake drop by up to 15.5 %, according to Business Daily.

Kenya’s biggest telco may see its stock drop to below the 50% mark, reducing its exposure in the populous nation.

Safaricom’s stake is set to drop to about 47.1 percent, while those of Vodacom Group, Sumitomo Corporation and British International Investment (BII) would decline to 5.23 percent, 22.99 percent and 9.21 percent respectively.

Combined, these partners together hold a stake of 84.5%, leaving IFC’s new shareholding expected at 15.46%, which would make the financier the 3rd largest owner in STE behind Sumitomo.

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