MTN's 'controversy-free' time in Nigeria may be short-lived

Time ticking for
MTN Nigeria

'controversy-free time' may be short-lived.

ITWeb Africa

Sunday, Feb 16th

Nigeria: NCC gives MTN until May 2019 to list

Nigeria: NCC gives MTN until May 2019 to list

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given MTN Nigeria until May 2019 to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, said listing of the company's operations on the local bourse was among the terms and conditions negotiated in 2015 following the industry-record fine imposed on the operator for violating a directive to disconnect irregularly registered GSM lines.

In May 2018, ITWeb Africa reported that the listing would increase the Nigerian stock market's capitalisation to approximately US$10 billion.

A month earlier the MTN Group announced Chapel Hill Denham as lead manager for the initial IPO, and South Africa's Rand Merchant Bank, global firm Renaissance Capital and Nigeria's Vetiva Capital as joint issuers.

The operator is yet to issue an official response to the regulator's local listing deadline announcement.

9mobile sale

Danbatta also fielded questions regarding the transfer of ownership of 9mobile to the preferred bidder Teleology.

He said the regulator is carrying out fresh due diligence on Teleology. "There are issues but let me say we are almost done with sorting out those issues."

In early August 2018, ITWeb Africa reported that the regulator decided to extend the deadline for the completion of the 9mobile transaction following the expiration of a previous deadline.

While Teleology blamed "delayed regulatory approvals", a forced Twitter hashtag trend, #NCCIsKilling9MobileForMTN, accused the regulator of shifting its initial requirements for the transfer of ownership in an apparent move to stifle 9mobile in favor of MTN.

The regulator has denied the accusations.

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