Business Hilights
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Volume of inquiries from Nigerians on when MTN is to be listed unprecedented—SEC

A top official of the Nigerian Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), on Thursday said the volume of inquiries made by Nigerians wishing to buy shares from leading telecoms group, MTN Nigeria should it get listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is getting out of hand.

In a telephone interview, the official who pleaded anonymity, said “I think going by the number of calls from prospective shareholders both within Nigeria and aboard on the listing of MTN, shows that the shares will definitely be oversubscribed at the market”.

“Though we are yet to see things happen, it’s like every Nigerian wants to be a part owner of MTN and that will good for the market and the Exchange especially now the economy is rebounding.

The official said “Apart from MTN, don’t be surprised if other telecoms group may list even earlier than MTN if some signals we are getting are anything to go by at SEC”.

Agency report had on Wednesday hinted that MTN Group is closing in on listing its Nigerian unit worth $5.23bn by July in a debut Initial Public Offer on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) and will raise fresh funds to reduce debt, according to pre-IPO presentation seen by Reuters.

The development means that the telecoms giant aims to raise at least $400m from the IPO to pay preference shareholders and is preparing to file application to the SEC to launch the offer after getting approvals from existing investors last week, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Part of the ongoing build up reveals that the company is currently perfecting arrangements to embark on international roadshow between May and June 2018 ahead of hitting the market between June and July. It will now need to appoint professional parties to the offer.

Additional details indicate that MTN Nigeria has around 402 million shares in issue, the same amount in preference shares, which it sold at $0.99 in 2007.

Though trials made to get confirmations at MTN Nigeria on the speculations failed at press time even as part of the IPO, business Hilights gathered may be to split one share into 50 units, to create 20 billion shares, which would be listed on the bourse and set the IPO price via book building.

Should the deal sail through, there are chances that MTN would among other things use the proceeds of the share sale to redeem preference shares issued to existing investors who bought the shares 11-years ago and also cut its dollar exposure after all.

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