BREAKING: CBN Sanction May Force MTN To Abandon Planned Nigeria Listing
The last may not have been heard of the sanctions handed out to MTN by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN over MTN Nigeria’s illegal repatriation of profits made in Nigeria.
You see, MTN Nigeria had planned to list its shares on the Nigeria Stock Exchange, NSE. The plan was expected to materialize before the end of this year.
But on Monday, MTN Nigeria’s parent company, the MTN Group Ltd said the sanction may force it to change its mind about going ahead with the planned listing.
According to Bloomberg, Africa’s largest mobile-phone company is considering other options of trading its shares on the Lagos-based NSE, including a so-called listing by introduction, in which existing shares are listed, Chief Financial Officer Ralph Mupita said in an interview in Johannesburg.
MTN’s board still needs to make a final decision, he said.
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“The IPO type of listing has become challenging under current market conditions. We are exploring other options. The Nigerian business would not get fair value under current market conditions. The simplest way to go forward would be an introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange,” Mupita said.
MTN could complete the listing in its biggest market by the end of this year or first quarter of next year, the CFO said.
Recall that MTN Nigeria’s stock has plunged in the wake of a dispute with the CBN over the repatriation of $8.1 billion out of the country and a separate tussle with the attorney general’s office over $2 billion in back taxes.
Listing the business on the NSE forms part of a settlement two years ago over unregistered SIM cards, when MTN negotiated a $5.2 billion fine down to about $1 billion.
“We have sought legal protection for our Nigerian business and a judge has been appointed for upcoming hearings,” Mupita said.
The central bank last week said it is reviewing new information provided by MTN and the banks into the outflows and that it expects to resolve the matter soon.