Trading in MTN Zakhele shares has hit yet another snag and is now set to resume only on Tuesday, 17 December, having originally been suspended in November due to technical issues experienced through high volumes.
The trading of ordinary shares in the R13.8 billion broad based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) scheme – which owns 4% of MTN Group Limited’s (MTN) total issued ordinary shares – was suspended two days after launch (25 November) due to technical issues that arose after the unprecedented interest in buying and selling these shares.
Trading was initially due to re-start on Monday 2 December; however, MTN admitted that the level of interest had far exceeded expectations with the system not designed for such volumes.
The mobile operator said that it hoped to relaunch soon “provided system changes and testing processes prove successful”.
MTN Zakhele chairman, Thulani Gcabashe, said: “The level of interest had far exceeded expectations and the system did not cope as it was not designed for these volumes.”
” We decided to only resume trading when we have a robust system that has been tested against much higher volumes, for the protection of our shareholders and the security of the trading platform as a whole.”
“We are aiming to have the necessary capacity added to the system and all changes thoroughly tested before the 17th December.”
“The capacity of the call centre is also being increased to handle a much higher volume of calls. Should we be satisfied with the system and the results of our testing, trading will proceed.”
By the end of the first day, about 93,000 MTN Zakhele shares with a total value of R8.1 million changed hands. MTN Zakhele closed at R84 per share.
On the second day, over 100,000 shares to the value of R7.8 million were traded. The MTN Zakhele shares closed at R80 per share on Tuesday, 26 November.
All trades that took place prior to the suspension were efficiently matched and settled. In addition, all funds received have been allocated to trading accounts and the funds are held in a separate bank account established for this purpose, MTN said.
“All buyers who have placed unmatched orders that are still in the market will be contacted to confirm that their offers still stand,” the group said.