Director- General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Munir Gwarzo has confirmed that the regulator is in discussion with MTN about its listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE). According to the DG, MTN and SEC have had discussions for the past two months about its listing on the bourse.
Gwarzo made the remarks at the press conference held on Wednesday, after just concluded Capital Market Committee (CMC) for the year. An official of the company, during a visit to the Minister of Science and Technology Ogbonnaya Onu confirmed the company’s intention to list.
Why MTN is listing and who benefits?
MTN is listing its shares as part of the conditions of settling a fine imposed on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for failing to deactivate improperly registered sim cards. The NCC initially fined MTN N1.04 trillion, but later reduced the fine to N330 billion after diplomatic intervention by South African President Jacob Zuma. In addition, the company was mandated to tender an unreserved apology to the Nigerian people and list its shares on the NSE. The planned listing is a major deal as it will increase the market capitalization of the stock exchange, and enhance its visibility.
The MTN Group was founded in South Africa in 1994 and currently operates in 22 countries, while MTN Nigeria founded in 2001, was among the first four companies to win a GSM licence in the country for which it paid $285 million. The company currently has over 60 million subscribers making it the largest telecoms operator in the country.