EFCC Investigates Listing of MTN Nigeria on NSE

By Dipo Olowookere

The listing of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is presently under the investigation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Business Post gathered that operatives of the agency were yesterday at the head office of the telecommunications office located in the Falomo area of Lagos State to ask some questions pertaining the process, which has raised eyebrows lately.

MTN Nigeria listed its shares on the nation’s bourse last Thursday, but the stocks have not been readily available to retail investors, spurring insinuations that the holders were hoarding the priced asset so as to push the value up and make huge gains.

It is important to note that MTN Nigeria listed its shares on the stock exchange by introduction, meaning only the existing shares of the company already allotted during a private placement years ago were admitted for trading with no new ones created for new investors.

This week, when reports of allegations of share manipulation hit the media, both the NSE and MTN Nigeria had to release different statements to debunk the claims.

Yesterday, another report of EFCC raiding the head office of the company was in the media, which forced MTN Nigeria to release another statement on Saturday.

The company, in the statement released to the NSE, confirmed that the anti-graft agency was indeed at its office, but only to ask questions about its listing on the stock exchange.

“MIN Nigeria Communications PLC (MTN Nigeria) received a letter on May 23, 2019 from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) requesting information and documentation related to the listing of our shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). MTN Nigeria has not been accused of any wrongdoing by the EFCC.

“We wish to reiterate that we received all regulatory approvals required to list our shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as publicly confirmed by The Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“As a law abiding and responsible corporate citizen, we are co-operating fully with the authorities. We are committed to good governance and to abiding by the extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the statement signed by the Company Secretary, Uto Ukpanah, said.

In an earlier statement, the NSE said MTN Nigeria passed through its various listing processes and was passed fit to use its platform to trade the company’s shares.

Business Post reports that MTN Nigeria listed its shares on the NSE at N90 per unit, but at the close of transactions on Friday, its traded at N140 each after losing N9.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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