SEC Says MTN Nigeria Still on Course to List Shares

By Peter OBIORA InvestAdvocate

Lagos (INVESTADVOCATE)-The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday said telecoms giant MTN Nigeria is still in talks with the Commission on listing its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mounir Gwarzo, director general (DG) of SEC disclosed at the second quarter  Capital Market Committee (CMC) meeting press Briefing.

Gwarzo said MTN is back on the negotiating table with SEC after the initial discussions held earlier this year, when the mobile operator shared some of their ideas at listing on the Nigerian bourse.

“On the listing of MTN, the conversation is back again, initially we had a conversation with them earlier this year, where they shared with us some of the noble ideas that they have and we also provided to them what we think should be more appropriate especially by ensuring that retail investors are also captured,” the SEC DG said.

According to Gwarzo, it took some time for the company to go back and work on SEC’s suggestions which culminated in the telecoms giants coming back for further discussion in the last two months following the firm’s idea to digitalise the application process.

“It took some time for them to go back and work on it; but in the last one or two months, they are back with us having a lot of conversation which is very good because they want to do it through an electronic means, that’s why the engagement with us is very key so that they make sure that by the time they file in officially, it won’t take time and we would be on the same page. So, I believe they are still on course,” Gwarzo affirmed.

As earlier reported, Nikiwe Tsaagane, general manager of MTN said the mobile operator was partnering with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and other relevant stakeholders in the telecoms sector, including the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to develop an app that would allow potential shareholders to subscribe to its shares digitally instead of the usual manual process involving a lot of paper works.

According to Tsaagane, MTN is working with the NSE to develop an application platform which would enable their customers to be able to apply online. Nigeria will be first place of doing such digital application. “It is going to offer important role in capital market as it will be one of the largest transactions in Africa. This will showcase Nigeria in the global economy if we can achieve it,” he added.

He says the transaction is structured by ensuring that it’s data based are inclusive as the company seeks to ensure that its Nigerian customers are able to participate.

MTN is said to have about 62 million subscribers in Nigeria which represents a significant population of the company.