Light at the end of the fine?
Reports are circulating that MTN will be able to get $1bn of locked-in money out of Iran now that the sanctions against the country are being lifted. This has not been confirmed by the company, but it certainly will help to mitigate the fine it’s facing in Nigeria. A bland Sens announcement from the company stated that it’s still in talks regarding the fine. While it’s paid $600m as a gesture of goodwill, this new money from Iran may assist in paying the fine without too much sweat – assuming it is around $1.5bn to $2bn rather than the initial or even reduced fine. This is a glimmer of good news for the share but even if MTN is able to pay the fine with relative ease, it remains a large amount of money that could have been better utilised.
Sim card sellers wait for customers at a roadside kiosk in Lagos, Nigeria.