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MTN Nigeria lists on the Nigerian Stock Exchange today, still has more hurdles to cross

The Nigerian unit of the South African telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria is getting listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by 1:30 PM (WAT) today.

According to today’s edition of NSE market bulletin, ‘MTN Nigeria Communications’ is listing by introduction and will be issuing 20,354,513,050 ordinary shares of 2 kobo each at ₦90 ($0.25) per share on the Premium Board of The Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Trading with the symbol MTNN, the company will be holding a Facts Behind the Listing event at the NSE after the close of market today.

MTN will be joining 7 other companies on the Premium Board of the exchange. The most recent listing on the Premium Board is Seplat Petroleum Development Company, which listed in April 2015.

MTN’s listing on the exchange is expected to increase the NSE’s market capitalisation. MTNN is also expected to be one of the biggest companies on the exchange on listing.

The path to MTN’s decision to list on the NSE started in 2015 when the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) fined the telecoms company $5.2 billion (₦1.04 trillion as at then) for failing to disconnect unregistered lines.

After the sanction, the telco negotiated with the Nigerian government, with former President Jacob Zuma of South Africa weighing in when he visited Nigeria in 2016. The penalty was eventually reduced to ₦330 billion ($916.2m) and was meant to be paid in tranches.

Part of the terms for the reduction of the penalty was that MTN Nigeria would be listed on the local stock exchange.

Interestingly, according to the payment schedule on the agreement, the last ₦55 billion ($152.7m) of the reduced penalty is due on May 31, 2019. This implies that MTN should be done with its over 3-year-old trillion-naira battle with the NCC by June 1st, having listed on the local exchange.

However, MTN still has more hurdles to cross in Nigeria as it currently has a case with the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN) which is still in court. Last year, Malami demanded ₦242bn and $1.3bn as import duties, withholding and value added taxes.