If the Federal Government decides to pardon MTN of its “alleged” sins and reduce its $3.9 billion fine to a payable amount, the company plans to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). MTN’s Executive Chairman, Phuthuma Nhleko said this today, March 3, 2016 when the company announced its full year results.
MTN is facing a $3.9 billion fine imposed on it by the Nigerian regulatory authorities over its non-deregistration of unregistered lines on its network. MTN and Nigerian authorities are currently engaged in negotiations to reduce the fine.
It is not clear only MTN Nigeria will be listed in Nigeria or the whole of the MTN Group which is already listed in South Africa. The MTN Group owns about 74 percent of MTN Nigeria with the remaining owned by Nigerian shareholders. MTN Nigeria contributes about 35 percent of group revenues and 50 percent of profits.
MTN Nigeria admitted that its competitiveness in Nigeria was compromised by the suspension of regulatory services in October 2015.
Under this suspension, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) withdrew its approval process for new tariff plans and promotions until certain tariff plans and promotions linked to the ‘dominant operator’ ruling were removed from the market.
MTN Nigeria says it has complied with these requirements and now awaits the NCC’s approval of new tariff plans and promotions submitted.
“MTN Nigeria continues to engage with the regulator regarding the ‘dominant operator’ ruling and suspension of regulatory services to find an amicable resolution. This, combined with the disconnection of subscribers in the year, negatively impacted MTN Nigeria’s results.”
The company has set aside $600 million hoping that the negotiations with Nigerian authorities will reduce the final amount it has to pay. Some analysts are hoping that MTN will not pay more than $1 billion. The company has already made a “good faith” payment of $251 million.
MTN – audited summary consolidated annual financial results for the year ended 31 December 2015 shows earnings was up just by 0.1 percent while profits dropped 54 percent. The company declared a final dividend of 830 cent per share, having already paid interim dividend of 480 cent per share bringing total dividend for the year to 1310 cents.