If you like it, now’s the time
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.