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Business Watch - January 24, 2017

MTN hints on when to list on NSE

Phuthuma Nhleko

Nigerians who are expecting to see MTN list the shares of its Nigerian unit on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) may have to have a bit longer.

The telco had said it was going to list the shares of its Nigerian unit in 2017.

However, comments credited to the Chief Executive officer, MTN Group, Phuthuma Nhleko indicated that more work still needed to be done.

“We’ve always intended to list — we have reaffirmed that with the government. Clearly, we can only list when the conditions are conducive,” Nhleko said at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“We see ourselves as a partner to governments in Africa because it is all about partnership.

“As regards the Nigerian matter, I wish it was millions of rands. I don’t think this is the right forum to rehash the past; the matter has been dealt with although it could have been handled differently from both parties.

“It’s a work in progress and hopefully within the 12 to 18-month period we will be able to do it. Regulatory issues need to be resolved, and the macro conditions need to have improved.”

MTN agreed to list its shares on the NSE in 2017 as part of the settlement of a N330 billion fine imposed on it by the government for failing to deactivate more than five million unregistered SIM cards.

The telco, according to The Cable was initially fined $5.2 billion (N1.04 trillion) but it was later reduced to N330 billion.

Last December, the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, said MTN had paid N80 billion, adding that the payments would continue for three years until all the N330 billion had been settled. (Thisday)

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