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Endless wait for MTN at Nigerian Stock Exchange traced to veiled reasons, but…


Whereas the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Garba Danbatta, has made it clear no amount of official delays will be accepted if MTN fails to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on or before May 2019, Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Ltd., Malam Garba Kurfi revealed that MTN was dragging the issue because of the way and manner things were handled in the country.

Though Kurfi was economical in further explanation, other analysts traced part of the delays to fears of failure or veiled lack of confidence in the system after all.

However, the Acting Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Mary Uduk has raised issues on MTN Group’s official filing of the Initial Public Offering (IPO) prospectus to the commission.

In her response to some media reports that MTN Nigeria will soon hit the Exchange, she clear the air, saying neither MTN Nigeria Limited nor any of its advisers or representatives has filed any application on the IPO with the commission.

In her submission at the commission’s second post Capital Market Committee (CMC) in Lagos weekend, Uduk stressed that SEC is willing to provide the necessary regulatory support, if MTN finally files a formal and complete application with the commission.

She stressed that MTN Nigeria will be treated with the usual diligence and urgency that is applicable to all such filings.

Capital market stakeholders have described the moves by the telecoms giant, MTN to raise about N153bn ($500m) from the sale of shares in its Nigerian business as a ‘positive development’, saying it would deepen the market and encourage the active participation of individual consumers in the company’s wealth creation process. But with the current political risks, which have continued to depress transactions on the equity sector of the NSE, operators had doubted the possibility of MTN IPO and subsequent listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) this year.

According to them, MTN’s IPO might not be visible this 2018 considering the observed cold so far deployed by the company on the matter.

However, the NCC’s recent outburst that MTN must enlist on or before May 2019 which stemmed from the SIM card deactivation fine in 2015 will crash the entire waiting game so far deployed by the telecoms giant.