MTN Nigeria May List Shares on NSE May 2018
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Investors in Nigeria willing to put their money in MTN Nigeria may have to wait till May 2018 or longer than that to achieve this aim.
MTN Nigeria is unarguably the biggest telecommunication company in the country, providing GSM services to millions of subscribers in the Africa’s largest economy.
There had been plans by the firm to list its shares on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) but a huge fine slammed on it by the Nigerian government in 2015 for failing to disconnect unregistered SIMs on its network created a setback to the listing plans.
The fine also resulted in MTN Group recording a loss in 2016.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV on Wednesday, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Group, Mr Rob Shuter, disclosed that the firm was making underground plans for an initial public offering of its Nigerian business and in the next six months, the company should have completed the process.
According to him, “We have a lot of advisers running around getting everything ready, it is a complicated process and there’s a lot of regulation that needs to be arranged. We are moving forward well with the project and anticipate concluding that in the next six months or so.”
Mr Shuter told Bloomberg that he was pleased with MTN’s operations in Nigeria and would definitely fancy listing its stocks on the NSE.
As at the last figure released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), MTN Nigeria controls 39.73 percent of Nigeria’s 152.46 million subscriber base.
In June this year, General Manager of MTN, Mr Nikiwe Tsaagane, assured the Federal Government that the leading telecommunications firm in the country will list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
He had told the Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Ogbonnaya Onu, that plans were underway to make shareholders apply for the listing digitally.
“To achieve this, we are working with the Nigeria Stock Exchange to develop an application platform to enable our customers apply online. It would be the first time such is happening in the country,” Mr Tsaagane informed the Minister.
In August 2017, Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Mounir Gwarzo, told journalists after the second Capital Market Committee (CMC) meeting in Lagos that discussions were ongoing with leading GSM service provider on its planned listing on the NSE.
He had promised that outcome of the talks would be known to the public when finalised.
“Concerning listing of MTN (Nigeria) on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, we have started discussions with them and also given them ideas on how to make it possible.
“We hope very soon, when the discussions are over, the company will announce its listing to investing public.
“I believe it (the listing) will boost our economy and showcase Nigeria as a good place to invest,” the SEC chief told newsmen.
The Nigerian government had said telecommunication firms operating in the country should list on the local bourse, though nothing concrete was yet to be realised.
The South African company, which boasts of over 60 million subscribers in Nigeria, is presently paying a fine to the Nigerian government and agreed to the Lagos IPO as part of the settlement of a $1 billion fine.