Nigeria: 'MTN Charged to Clear Regulatory Issues Before IPO

An MTN facility in Abuja.
2 October 2018

The Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), has urged the telecom giant, MTN, to dispatch with all regulatory headwinds properly before coming to the stock market for public offering to Nigerians, to enable it list at optimal price favourable to the company and investors.

A member of the CIS 2018 Conference Committee, Akeem Oyewale, gave the advice while fielding questions from journalists at a news conference to announce the forthcoming Stockbrokers' 2018 Conference, slated for October 4 and 5, in Lagos.

He noted that the parent company of MTN lost about 30 per cent within a two-week period in South Africa, following double sanctions slammed on the firm over allegations of illegally repatriating $8.13 billion, and $2 billion outstanding tax claim in Nigeria.He said: "MTN was listed in Ghana, they had plans to be listed this year in Nigeria, but we are all aware of the regulatory headwinds they have to contend with right now. If they do not address the headwinds properly, they will be listing at prices that may not be optimal for themselves and even for the investors that may be coming into the market.

"The share price of the parent company of MTN lost about 30 per cent within a two week period in south Africa, your financial advisers will really think you are smoking something that has expired if you were to continue to proceed without clearing the regulatory issues, which I think it is what is being done right now."The Chairman, Conference Committee, Mrs Lilian Olubi, said stockbrokers have identified critical issues that must be addressed for the Nigerian capital market to attract both domestic and global investors ahead of the forthcoming 2018 yearly conference.

According to her, the Institute has started to count the gains of their previous conferences, which according to her, is strengthening relationship between the government and the market in the areas of market inputs that can enhance government policy.

Olubi, who announced the Conference theme as; "Nigerian Economy and the Capital Market: Exploring the Next Frontier for Growth," argued that "The growth of the Nigerian economy largely influences the growth within the capital market. Thus, key policies already designed by the government and associated authorities would be worthy of consideration.

Nigeria and all stakeholders have cast focus to the 2019 general elections, which is already fast approaching. The end of the election will either retain the incumbent, who will be focused on improving his achievements in his first four years, or produce a new government that may likely develop new framework to achieve his own ambition.

"Regardless of the outcome, it is apparent that focus would be on improving the Nigerian economy, thus we deem it fit to also channel discussions what the focus should be after 2019 elections," Olubi said.

The Institute's First Vice President, Mr Olatunde Amolegbe, said leaders of shareholders' associations would be invited to the conference for their input, as part of the stakeholders in the capital market ecosystem. According to him, the Annual Conference has remained a major platform where capital market regulators, top-level government functionaries and members of the Organised Private Sectors discus issues that affect the economy and the way forward.He added that dignitaries including Nigeria's Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, capital market regulators; operators; investment analysts; and captains of industries are expected at the Conference.

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