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After suspension:trading resumes on MTN Group shares as Osinbajo denies meeting with company executives

After suspension:trading resumes on MTN Group shares as Osinbajo denies meeting with company executives

 

Leke Adeosun

Remember the novel by Anezi Okoro titled One Week, One trouble?This seems to be the situation currently befalling telecom giants MTN at the moment.

This morning at about 11am, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange suspended trading on the shares of MTN Group after it shares fell by almost ten minutes when market opened today.

Meanwhile the office Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the  Vice President of Nigeria  has denied reports that he met with MTN Group Execustives who had rushed to Nigeria  days after the fine was imposed.

The media was awash that the MTN Group had met the Vice President to help them  mediate in the matter and also to see a possibility of a reduction in the penalty.

But Laolu Akande  Spokes person to the Vice President has today denied that such a meeting took place. The story had put the Vice President and the nation’s anti-corruption stance in bad light since it is now public knowledge that the Vice President declared that he has shares in MTN Nigeria.

The fall in the shares of MTN is directly linked to the N1.4 trillion ($5.2million) fine imposed on it by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for failure to deactivate sim registration after months of warning and a final deadline.

Immediately after the fine, MTN stock took a red turn, with the company experienced over 12 percent decline in its shares for the first time in 17 years on the JSE. The decline continued on Tuesday, October 27 as MTN shares lost more value, falling by another four percent Tuesday and 2.6 percent to 155.85 rand at the close of business on Wednesday – the lowest since October 2012. MTN’s market value had dropped by 22 percent since the fine was made public on Monday.

According to early morning trading on the South African bourse, MTN shares fell as low as 9.7 percent on Monday, then rising to 5 percent, before being suspended a few minutes to 11am. MTN group has been in talks with Nigerian authorities to review the fine, which is as more than MTN’s $3.9 billion revenue for the year 2014.

Later in the evening the JSE allowed trading to continue on the shares with JSE Director Issuer Regulation John Burke, stating  “trading would resume as soon as MTN Group Limited issued a SENS announcement.”
In a statement later, MTN Group Executive for Corporate Affairs, Chris Maroleng, said “We take note of the JSE’s decision to suspend MTN’s shares.”

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