Business Hilights
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Listing of MTN next year can’t spur others to the market—Survey

Whereas it is becoming clear that MTN Nigeria will lead in the much awaited listing of telecoms giants in Nigeria before the end of first half of 2018, findings by Business Hilights in the industry show that the South African company may not be immediately followed by others.

Key reasons posited by analysts include weak pockets, observed drop in annual income caused by reduced subscribers’ disposal income within the recession period and even after.

Dr. Jimoh Olesin, an IT enthusiast told our correspondent on phone that “I do not think that any other telecom can follow MTn to the same market at the same time”.

“Going to the market this time is for deep pocket investors and not struggling companies. For any telecoms to join MTN Nigeria in the market, its pocket must be as deep as that of the MTN, otherwise, it cannot fly at the Exchange.

However, pundits say if ever another telecoms giant will hit the market, it may be Globacom based on the company’s rising subscriber base, but a credible insider confided in Business Hilights that such business plan is not yet seriously considered.

According to an industry expert who spoke on the matter on grounds of anonymity, “I think rather than other telecoms following MTN immediately, don’t be surprised if some data centres may approach the market either before or after MTN has listed”.

Only recently, the chief executive officer of MTN Group, Mr. Rob Shuter, said the firm was making underground plans for an initial public offering of its Nigerian business around May next year.

Released figures by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), show that MTN Nigeria controls 39.73 percent of Nigeria’s 152.46 million subscriber base.

He noted that “We have a lot of advisers running around getting everything ready, it is a complicated process and there’s a lot of regulation that needs to be arranged. We are moving forward well with the project and anticipate concluding that in the next six months or so.”

A clear signal to the listing had emerged earlier in June this year when  by the general manager of MTN, Nikiwe Tsaagane, assured the Federal Government that the leading telecommunications firm in the country will list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Business Hilights recalls that MTN Nigeria is presently paying a fine slammed on it by the regulator for breaches in not deactivating hundreds of unregistered SIM cards.

The fine after negotiations, were not only cut, but spread over time.

Part of the negotiation includes the listing of the company at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) which the company would have done in September but pushed it to next year.