MTN’s share price rallies amid ongoing talks in Nigeria

Shares in MTN advanced nearly 4% in afternoon trade on Thursday, as the company continues negotiations with Nigerian authorities over a multi-billion rand fine imposed on it in October last year.

The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) hit MTN with a $5.2 billion fine for failing to disconnect more than five million unregistered SIMs on its network. The move prompted the resignation of Sifiso Dabengwa as chief executive of the group in November.

Former CEO, Phuthuma Nhleko, was appointed as executive chairman in a temporary capacity, and has been leading negotiations in Nigeria ever since.

In an statement to its shareholders on Thursday, MTN said: “Further to the renewal of the cautionary announcement dated 11 March 2016, shareholders are advised that MTN Nigeria continues to engage with the Nigerian authorities in order to try and ensure a mutually acceptable resolution to the fine imposed on MTN Nigeria.”

The mobile operator’s share price declined earlier this week after the company published a quarterly update on Monday showing a loss of subscribers in its two biggest markets – Nigeria and South Africa.

By 15h23, MTN’s shares advanced 3.62% or R5.21, to R149.24, having lost 41%, or more than R100 over the past year. Its current market cap is at R275 billion.

The JSE Overall index was up 0.25% to 53,193 points.

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MTN’s share price rallies amid ongoing talks in Nigeria