In 2015, the Nigerian Communications Commission slapped MTN Nigeria with a fine of ₦1.04 trillion for failure to disconnect unregistered subscribers and after months of negotiation, the fine was slashed to ₦330 billion.
One of the requirements of the agreement and resolution was that MTN was expected to take immediate steps to ensure listing their shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Last year, the telecommunication giant announced that it would list it’s shares on the NSE in 2017 “subject to suitable market conditions”. This may not be the case anymore as according to MTN chairman, Phuthuma Nhleko at the World Economic Forum, listing has been deferred till 2018.
“It’s a work in progress and hopefully within the 12 to 18 month period we will be able to do it”
He gave regulatory issues and the present economic situation of the country as reasons for the delay.
MTN, according to Bloomber,g has lost more than a third of their shares value since they were fined by NCC in 2015. Also, the telco lost its number one position as Africa’s biggest telecommunication company to Vodacom in 2016 as a result.
As reported at the end of 2016, the Nigeria Stock Exchange All Share Index was on the poor side and the listing of big multinational companies like MTN would help to deepen the market, improve the portfolio and boost stocks on the exchange. MTN listing is expected to increase the market capitalization of the NSE by 22% and also encourage other multinational companies and telcos to do the same.
Through this listing, the government would also be able to generate revenue through tax and create opportunities for Nigerians to become shareholders of the company, supporting wealth creation and distribution.
We can only hope that other telcos like Glo, Airtel, Etisalat and other multinational companies would take the plunge and get listed as they stand to attract finance from the market and expand their businesses.
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