MTN rubbishes claims of Nigeria listing

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IOL pic nov26 br mtn nu niger0 (56681517) BLOOMBERG A customer uses a cellphone beside an MTN Connect Point in Lagos, Nigeria. File picture: George Osodi

Johannesburg - MTN on Monday strongly denied plans to list in Nigeria, saying the media had reported on its plans inaccurately.

On Thursday, the MTN Group held a media briefing to announce its financial results for the year ended December 31 which showed profit plunged 51 percent as the Africa's largest mobile operator battled poor economic conditions in South Africa,
regulatory hurdles, a hefty fine in its largest market, Nigeria, and
changes in its top management team.

Subsequent reports following the media briefing suggested that the giant mobile operator had hinted at a secondary listing in Nigeria. MTN Group spokesperson, Chris
Maroleng, in a statement said this was "grossly inaccurate". Maroleng said MTN was particularly perturbed that despite the extensive engagements in the day, the media coverage around MTN results had been characterised by grossly inaccurate media reports and misinformation. 

Read also: MTN ponders Nigeria listing

"The correct comment, as expressed by the executive chairman, is that MTN could consider listing the local operation, MTN Nigeria, not the Group. As a result, reports that MTN is considering a secondary listing in Nigeria are misleading," Maruleng said.

Maroleng further said the listing of MTN Nigeria remains a consideration, not a planned
listing, as suggested in some of the media reports. Maroleng also said reports that MTN had $US22 billion stuck in Nigeria were worrying. 

"This is completely inaccurate. MTN Nigeria has the cash equivalent of
approximately R24.6 billion with some R26.2 billion in debt implying a
net debt position of R1.7 billion," Maroleng said.


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