Even though it has lost almost 30% of its value since November 2014, MTN still remains one of the biggest companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
MTN, which was more than double the value of Vodacom in terms of market cap in 2014, has declined significantly to be only 32% larger than its strongest competitor.
This is directly as a result of a massive $5.2 billion fine facing the company from the Nigerian Communications Commission, which resulted in a crash in the group’s share price at the end of last month.
The fine relates to the timing of the disconnection of 5.1 million MTN Nigeria subscribers who were disconnected in August and September 2015 and is based on a fine of N200,000 for each unregistered subscriber.
In the week after the news broke, MTN’s shares dropped 20%, before recovering slightly in recent sessions. Year on year, however, the group’s value has slipped just under 30%.
Vodacom, meanwhile, has seen year-to-date growth of 16%, which has pushed its market capitalization up to R223.5 billion.
According to Vodacom CEO, Shameel Joosub, however, MTN will likely overcome its current hurdles in Nigeria and will bounce back. “MTN is a strong company – it will come back,” he said.
Top 20 performance in 2015
Notably, among the biggest companies in the country, mining and mineral stocks have taken a knock over the past 12 months, with Anglo American dropping out of the top 20 altogether.
BHP Billiton, once the biggest company on the local bourse, has slipped to third, making room for British American Tobacco to take the crown – followed by SAB Miller which saw a recent boost from the AB InBev acquisition.
20 biggest companies on the JSE
|#||Company||Market cap (ZAR billions)|
|1||British American Tobacco||1 515.0|
|2||SAB Miller||1 392.0|
|3||BHP Billiton||1 129.0|
JSE top 20 share price changes (ZAR)
|Company||Share Price (10/11/14)||Share Price (10/11/15)||Change|
|Naspers||1 406.00||2 090.00||+48.7%|
|British American Tobacco||644.23||816.34||+26.7 %|