MTN: CBN inhibiting Nigeria listing

MTN: CBN inhibiting Nigeria listingMTN listing in Nigeria is being challenged by  the allegation of regulatory infractions levelled against it by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The telco has completed its listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange.

In its quarterly report for the period ended on September 30, 2018, and released yesterday, the telco said its listing in Nigeria was facing challenges from the CBN.

“We successfully completed the listing of MTN Ghana. MTN Nigeria’s plans to list have been challenged by the recent Central Bank of Nigeria and Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria matters.

“MTN remains committed to the listing in Nigeria and work continues in this regard. In the quarter, the group engaged extensively with authorities in Nigeria to deal with the matters they raised,” the telco said in the report.

The carrier however boosted sales ahead of targets during the period under review, showing its ability to grow the business even with a major regulatory spat that has rocked shares of Africa’s largest wireless carrier.

According to the report, “MTN Nigeria had an excellent quarter, increasing service revenue by 17.4 per cent YoY, towards the upper end of our medium-term target for Nigeria of double-digit growth.

“This was led by a 52,5 per cent increase in data revenue and 21.5 per cent increase in outgoing voice revenue. Data revenue growth was supported by an increase in active data subscribers as well as more smartphones on our network, the result of various CVM and OEM (original equipment manufacturer)-partnership initiatives.

“Digital revenue declined by 28,5 per cent following the continued optimisation of our value-added services (VAS) business. We completed the final element of this optimisation, suspending auto-renewal of subscriptions, in mid-September which means that digital revenue will continue to be impacted by lower VAS revenue in the fourth quarter, after which we expect it to stabilise.”

MTN Nigeria reported 17.2 million active data subscribers, up 15.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter, and 2.5 million mobile money customers, up 12.4 per cent QoQ,” the report showed.

Its Chief Executive Officer Rob Shuter said in a statement yesterday that “these results were delivered in challenging operating and currency conditions”.

During the quarter, the CBN alleged improper dividend repatriations by MTN Nigeria between 2007 and 2015 of $8.1 billion while the AGF alleged unpaid taxes on foreign payments and imports of approximately $2 billion.

MTN Nigeria has continued to deny these allegations and claims, stating that it remained resolute that it had not committed any offences and will continue to defend this position vigorously.