If you like it, now’s the time

Finweek English Edition - - MARKET PLACE - By Si­mon Brown

Long-time read­ers will know my story with MTN and how I sold in dis­gust back in Oc­to­ber 2015 when the Nige­rian story first broke. In part, it was an exit I was con­tem­plat­ing any­way be­cause I was con­cerned about the longer-term growth story for mo­bile op­er­a­tors as I ex­pect them to morph into util­i­ties. Be­ing a util­ity is not bad, but the tran­si­tion is messy and I will look to buy when that tran­si­tion is com­plete (it will likely take as long as a decade).

That said, many read­ers do like MTN and have been ask­ing me if it is time to buy and the an­swer is yes. The bad news (self­in­flicted and oth­er­wise) is all out in the open and be­hind the oper­a­tor, even if there will be fu­ture costs. It is get­ting money out of Iran and has an all-new man­age­ment team in place. MTN con­tin­ues to face chal­lenges (for ex­am­ple Nige­ria and the weak but im­proved oil price), but these are not new and it is a lead­ing global emerg­ing-mar­ket telco. So for those who’ve been wait­ing to buy MTN, now’s your time to make a move.

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