MTN keeps eye on listing as it leverages Nigeria stronghold

MTN Nigeria recorded double-digit revenue growth in 2017 and registered two million additional subscribers in Q4, according to the operator's Investor Day Presentation released in April.

Investor information shared revealed that, Nigeria, one of the company's three biggest markets, accounted for 29% of MTN Group's service revenue, 34% of the voice revenue and 30% of digital revenue.

The Group has invested R8.82 billion (28% of a total of R31.5 billion) of its capital expenditure in the West African country.

In late 2015 and the better part of 2016, the fate of MTN in Nigeria was uncertain, specifically because of its June 2016 settlement agreement with the federal government of Nigeria to pay a US$1.6 billion (approximately N330 billion) fine as a result of failure to deactivate all unregistered lines on its network.

ITWeb Africa reported that MTN plans to list its Nigerian operations on the local bourse, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) before the end of 2018.

A Reuters report revealed that the bourse listing will lift Nigerian stock market's capitalisation to about US$10 billion.

Media reports have further suggested MTN Nigeria would be offering 20 billion shares on the NSE, making it the bourse's record bond issuance.

MTN has also revealed plans to raise NGN400 billion (approximately US$1.1 billion) in Nigeria this year by selling bonds and securing long-term loans to finance local investments and replace existing debts.

Ferdi Moolman, CEO of MTN Nigeria said, "In Q1 of 2018, MTN Nigeria rolled out 298 3G and 174 4G sites with the 4G roll out remaining centered on the top 10 cities across the country."