Nigeria: MTN Ready for Listing, Completes Share Registration With SEC

An MTN facility in Abuja.

MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTN) has announced the successfully completion of the registration of 20,354,513,050 ordinary shares of N0.02 each with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

According to a statement by the company, the completion of the process sets in motion the next steps in MTN's intended listing by introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Speaking on the announcement, the MTN Chief Executive Officer, Ferdi Moolman, commented: "I am excited we have achieved another milestone in our listing process and want to thank the SEC and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for supporting us through the process. We have now begun to engage with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to complete the listing process."

Confirming the development yesterday, SEC said the application by MTN Nigeria to list on the NSE by way of introduction has been approved.

According to the Acting Director-General of SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk, "MTN sought to come to the market by way of an introduction, and they wrote to the SEC last week, requesting for approval to register its existing shares. That approval has now been granted."

The Commission added: "This is a further indication of the determination by the SEC to work with companies that are interested in the capital market. We believe that this will also encourage other service providers to come to the market."

The SEC had last week, announced it received the application from MTN to register its existing securities. This is coming after three years delay on account of huge monetary sanctions of $8.1 billion for improper dividend repatriation by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and another N2 billion tax claims from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

Reacting on the completion of the registration process, a Professor of Capital Market and Head, Banking and Finance Department, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Uche Uwaleke, said: "One of the challenges the stock market is facing is that industry composition is concentrated in few sectors. The listing of MTN will help deepen the market and its contribution to the nation's GDP, as more Nigerians are given the opportunity to participate in the fortunes of the company."

Uwaleke noted that MTN listing will also create a positive signal to both foreign and local investors, who will see it as an improvement in Nigeria's investment climate.

"The success of the listing will encourage other telecommunications companies, like Globacom, Etisalat, Airtel and other multinational companies to consider approaching the Stock Exchange. This will be positive for the capital market and the economy in general," he added.

The Chief Executive Officer, Capital Bancorp Plc, Aigboje Higo, said: "It will further put the Nigerian market on the world scale; it will offer Nigerians another opportunity to invest in a company that has benefited so much from this country. It could also be the beginning for others to follow.

He continued: "If MTN is quoted, others can join and be quoted. So it is something we are all looking forward to with excitement, because it will change the landscape of the stock market for good and in a positive way.

"We need them because we need more equity, we need more securities, we need increased capitalisation, we want more activities in the stock market, and we want more investors. As big as Nigeria is, only five to seven million investors play the market. Their coming will attract people that have never looked at the stock market."

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