In May 2019, MTN Nigeria listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The move was perceived by many as both an invitation and a challenge to other telecoms companies to do the same. Since then, Airtel Africa has equally listed, even as it remains Globacom and 9mobile.
If Globacom and 9mobile were considering taking up the challenge before, that probably has changed, no thanks to the bad signals being received from the stock market lately.
Network providers are recording poor performance on the NSE. Before Airtel Africa joined MTN Nigeria on the NSE, the latter was struggling to maintain its share price. That has continued, following Airtel Africa’s listing.
The Bharti subsidiary followed in the footsteps of MTN Nigeria after its successful first day of trading which saw a 10% increase in its share price. Airtel Africa’s stock price has since dropped consecutively for two days.
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Airtel’s performance on LSE: The company’s performance on the London Stock Exchange has also generally been bearish. The stock traded flat on Thursday at 72 pence. Airtel Africa’s LSE share price had declined by 15% on its first day of trading London on June 28, making it one of the worst debuts on the European exchanges this year.
Airtel’s performance on NSE: On July 10th, Airtel was among the losers on NSE, falling by 10% to trade at N359.40 Kobo against IPO price of N363. This is after initially gaining 10% on its first day of trading and hitting N399.30 Kobo per share.
MTN Nigeria’s performance on NSE: MTN Nigeria also dropped by 2.26% on the NSE floor, closing the market at N129.5 Kobo per share after opening with N133. The company had climbed from N129.05 to N133 on Wednesday but fell again on Thursday. It had opened the market this week at N129.45.
It has been a rather disappointing outing for telecommunications company this week, and this is not encouraging to lure other network providers like Globacom and 9mobile which have been tipped to follow in Airtel and MTN’s path. Investors’ confidence seems not to be high for telecoms’ stocks and they are making this known with the way they invest in the first and second largest telcos in Nigeria.
Generally, investors in the Nigerian market have been cautious of their activities due to the low growth in Nigeria. Also, the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a cabinet months after his re-election is a contributing factor.