MTN buys back R1.36 billion worth of shares

MTN has bought back over a billion Rand’s worth of its own shares, and plans to continue buybacks where it can with the goal of boosting investor returns.

“In line with MTN’s strategy to improve returns to shareholders, MTN has bought back shares to the value of R1,36 billion between 8 March 2012 and 28 May 2012,” MTN reported.

The total value of shares bought back by the company – which includes repurchases made the during 2011 financial year – amounted to R2,29 billion, it said. “The total number of shares repurchased equates to 0,9% of MTN Group’s issued share capital.”

“This distribution to shareholders is in addition to the 70% dividend payout ratio announced previously. The MTN board will continue to implement share buybacks on an opportunistic basis,” said MTN.

The Turkcell saga

Turkish mobile operator, Turkcell launched a $4.2 billion lawsuit in a US court accusing MTN of bribing its way to the Iranian licence and alleging human rights abuses.

MTN stressed their continued stance that the cliam holds no ground, and would continue to fight it.

“MTN believes there is no legal merit to Turkcell’s claim and no basis for such claim to be brought before a US court and will accordingly oppose the claim,” it said.

“The Hoffmann Committee’s investigation into Turkcell’s allegations is well underway and the Committee is expected to make recommendations to the MTN board later in the year,” it said.

MTN also said that it is currently working with US authorities to manage its compliance with US sanctions against Iran.

“MTN also continues to retain international legal advisors to assist the Group in remaining compliant with applicable EU, US and UN sanctions,” it finished.

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MTN buys back R1.36 billion worth of shares