MTN may de­fer Nige­ria list­ing plans to 2018

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT -

MTN GROUP may put off plans to list its Nige­rian op­er­a­tion un­til 2018 as Africa’s largest wire­less car­rier works to re­solve a reg­u­la­tory dis­pute and awaits an eco­nomic re­cov­ery in the con­ti­nent’s most pop­u­lous coun­try. “It’s a work in progress and hope­fully within the next 12 to 18 month we will be able to do it,’’ MTN chair­man and act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Phuthuma Nh­leko said at the an­nual meet­ing of the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum in Davos, Switzer­land. “Reg­u­la­tory is­sues need to be re­solved, and the macro con­di­tions need to have im­proved.” MTN agreed to list the unit in Nige­ria as part of the set­tle­ment of a 330 bil­lion naira (R14bn) fine im­posed by the gov­ern­ment for miss­ing a dead­line to dis­con­nect un­reg­is­tered sub­scribers. It said in July that the list­ing would take place in 2017, sub­ject to mar­ket con­di­tions. Since then, a sen­a­tor’s al­le­ga­tions that it il­le­gally moved $14bn (R190bn) out of the coun­try has threat­ened to de­lay the process. The Nige­rian Stock Ex­change All Share In­dex was the world’s worst per­former last year among 94 in­dexes tracked by Bloomberg, los­ing 41 per­cent in dol­lar terms. – Bloomberg

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