MTN shares plummet, share trading halted

MTN shares plummeted by over 8% at one point on 2 November, following uncertainty regarding a fine of 1.04 trillion naira (R71 billion) in Nigeria.

MTN said last week it was engaging with the Nigerian authorities regarding the fine from the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).

A report in The Sunday Times stated that MTN is meeting with Nigerian officials at the highest level to fight the R71-billion fine, and that it enlisted the help of the South African government for the negotiations.

Bloomberg has reported that MTN remains in negotiations with Nigerian regulators over the fine.

This debunks a report by the Vanguard publication in Nigeria that MTN bowed to pressure, and agreed to pay the 1.04 trillion naira fine.

Despite the reported negotiations, MTN share trading was halted on the JSE on 2 November.

Bloomberg sought feedback from MTN and the Nigerian Communication Commission, but neither party was willing to comment.

MTN would also not answer questions from MyBroadband regarding the fine in Nigeria.

Update: MTN resumed trading on the JSE on Monday afternoon after trade in its shares were suspended in the morning.

MTN’s share price tumbled by around 8% on Monday morning amid a report in Nigeria’s Vanguard that said the company had agreed to pay a $5.2bn fine for failing to disconnect five million unregistered subscribers.

At 13:54, MTN’s share price was trading at R149.72 and at 14:16 it moved to R149.19.

The JSE further confirmed that MTN was trading again in a statement.

“After the company’s announcement released on SENS at 13:33, trading in the company’s shares will resume with a ten minute re-opening auction at 13:40,” said the JSE.

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MTN shares plummet, share trading halted