According to Reuters, two anonymous sources confirmed that South Africa’s MTN has applied with the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission to list shares in its local unit on the country’s bourse.
Nigeria is the biggest market for Africa’s largest telecoms firm, with 52.3 million users in 2017, and accounts for a third of the company’s annual core profit.
The market has however been problematic for the telecoms firm in recent years. In 2016 the firm said it would list its local unit on the Nigerian Stock Exchange after agreeing to pay a reduced fine of $1.7 billion in a settlement with the Nigeria’s government over unregistered SIM cards.
The firm revealed it would list its shares on the Nigerian bourse in the first half of 2019.
A Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission official told Reuters that “what they applied for is registration for listing, that is just to convert to a publicly quoted company where, for now, private shareholders can dispose of their shares at the exchange”.
Another person with direct knowledge of the matter also said MTN had asked the stock exchange for permission to proceed with a listing of its share.
MTN converted its Nigerian unit into a public company ahead of its planned listing. It said the conversion was a legal requirement to prepare for the listing. The firm said it plans to list the unit without raising money from investors immediately and would simplify its capital structure before the listing.