Public telephone operator, Tunisie Telecom, held, last Thursday at a hotel in the northern suburbs of Tunis, an informal meeting with Tunis stock exchange brokers. The object was to explain to them, through a foreign partner, the new technique of OPO (open price offer) to be adopted for the introduction of Tunisie Telecom in the Tunis Stock Exchange and Euronext. The agenda was strictly observed, since no other information was provided on the listing operation or its volume, let alone the value of this public company and this, despite the many pressing questions raised in this direction by brokers.
This meeting came after another one held a few days earlier between the CEO of the company and the trade union of TT. The latter notified frankly the union’s opposition to the introduction, not yet explained or publicized and therefore may be misunderstood and misinterpreted. We recall here that it is only through a foreign news agency that the Tunis stock market has learned the IPO of TT and no relevant conference or press meeting have so far been organized.
During the informal meeting of last Thursday and due to insistent questions, brokers learn that for both the 10% of Tunisie Telecom to be placed on the Tunis Stock Exchange and the 10% of the Emirati shareholder, there would be an intention to entrust them to placement syndicates.
Information circulate, reporting a syndicate between “Tunisie Valeurs” and “BNA” Capitals, a syndicate which would be joined by MAC SA FinaCorp. However, Stock sources specify that no agreement has been signed so far with any Tunisian stock broker. This information (or disinformation) has not received any favorable response from all stock brokers, who are rather disgruntled and prepare lobbying in favor of the non syndication of this IPO. A placement syndicate would, according to our stock market source, amount to discrimination between brokers. For many, it would be economically more profitable for Tunisie Telecom and for the whole financial center to “involve all brokers, each according to his ability to ensure a better dissemination to the large public, “according to our market source.
Things are not yet clearly said in this operation which has been so far managed in silence, “it will depend ultimately on the role that will be assigned to the placement syndicate, either exclusivity on investment or just investment guarantee “our market source specified.
Meanwhile, the TT IPO project seems to upset many sides.
Tunisian Stock brokers were still unhappy at the Euronext component of this dual listing of the historical operator. According to preliminary information available to the market place in Tunis, the introduction in the European exchange would have been assigned to Credit Suisse. Brokers were also furious because they have not, indeed, the right placement under the Tunisian Exchange Code. They claim however that nothing would prevent their abilities, even legally, to work on the commercial side and that this might even be a source of foreign exchange inflows in commissions for themselves and for the country. So they feel excluded, discriminated against and frustrated for the second time, both in their market place and outside it. Clearly, they told us, “we are good for the lesson [the one given on the OPO technique], but not for profits.”