Airtel Kenya is the second biggest provider of telecommunications and mobile money services in Kenya after Safaricom, ranked the best network across the country for data and calls, and also because of Mpesa.

Because of the ‘PLC’ tag meaning a public limited company at the end of Safaricom PLC, as it is known, we all know, at least most of us, that Safaricom is allowed to sell its shares to the public as a publicly traded company listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

Public companies in Kenya, such as Safaricom, with the word PLC at the end of their name, are those whose ownership is distributed among different shareholders and investors in the form of share units available for purchase and sale in public stock exchanges like the stated NSE.

But have you ever heard of Airtel Kenya PLC? That is because you automatically want to know how to buy Airtel shares in Kenya: Who doesn’t want to invest in such a promising, fast-growing telecommunication company?

Is Airtel Kenya listed on NSE?

Unfortunately, as a company, Airtel has not yet gone public for its shares to be made available for trading on the stock market, NSE Nairobi Securities Exchange. But why?

It is because Airtel Kenya is one of the subsidiaries of Airtel Africa, whose stock is already listed and active on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), and its registration statement reads London, England, UK, its main headquarters.

But that does not lock out the telecom operator from NSE: For Airtel to start trading its shares in Kenya, it must apply for a Cross Border Secondary Listing with the approval of LSE because Airtel Africa PLC, its holding company, is UK-based and then post their Initial Public Offering (IPO) by way of Book Building to go public.

So, can one buy Airtel shares in Kenya?

As an investor, because Airtel is not yet a publicly traded company in the country to list its stock on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, it is impossible to buy its shares right now in Kenya and become a shareholder.