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Nigeria economy to benefit from MTN Nigeria listing on equities market-Stakeholders

Motolani Oseni

Stakeholders in the capital market have said MTN Nigeria listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) will boost investors’ confidence and liquidity, even as the nation’s economy stands to benefit.

They expressed that other listed companies are expected to witness price discovery and foreign and domestic investors’ interest in the capital market might increase going forward.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had received the application from the company last week to register their existing securities.

MTN Nigeria had registered 20.35 billion ordinary shares with apex capital market regulating body with the It plans to list around 20 per cent of those on the bourse.

That would give the unit market value of as much as N1.8 trillion or $5.1 billion market capitalisation, making it the second-biggest public firm in Africa’s main oil producer after Dangote Cement Plc.

The Managing Director of Cowry Assets Limited, Mr Johnson Chukwu, said that the listing is a positive development for the nation’s capital market

According to him, “I think it is a positive development for the capital market.

“Basically, MTN has the largest turnover in the economy. So, if we use that kind of basis, we have doubt MTN will be most capitalized equity in the Nigerian market but beyond being the most capitalized market, MTN will bring some level of participation to the companies listed on the Exchange.”

Speaking further he said, “Right now, we do not really have any strong telecommunication company listed on the NSE. The other telecom’s companies have been delisted.

“So, I want to believe it will present with the opportunity to invest in the company to consumers they are really contributing to its turnover. Nigerians are paying for airtime. So, if you invest, you will be benefiting from your own consumption or expenditure.

“All things being equal, it will be well received in the market and it will afford more Nigerians a lot to buy into the company they really have some form of consumer relationship with.”

Professor of Finance & Capital Market, and head, Banking and Finance Department, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Prof. Uche Joe Uwaleke speaking as a guest lecturer at the Capital Market Correspondent’s Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN),

a quarterly forum in Lagos said, the expected listing on the NSE, by MTN, is expected to boost market liquidity, diversify offerings as the company will become the second most capitalised company in the market, after Dangote Cement Plc.

Similarly, President, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Mr Boniface Okezie, said that the telecommunication company stands to benefit in the listing

In his words, “The news has been on for many years whether MTN is listing or not. I think it is high time the company list once and for all so that they can move on.

“The company problem with the government could not have arisen for a very long period of time.For me, the company will gain a lot to the listing.

“There is equity at the Exchange that when you are operating as a private company, a lot of law would speculating on them.

“Now, certain things the private sector would bring out, they would not be involved in that because it is quoted company because they have earned the respect. So, it is going to be a good one for the company,” he explained.

The telecommunication giant agreed to an initial public offering of its Nigeria business as part of the settlement of a reduced $1 billion fine in the country in 2016.

The listing planned June is the first of two stages, with a selldown of MTN’s majority stake to take place at a later date.

A statement by SEC Head of Corporate Communications, Mrs Efe Ebelo, had earlier stated that the Acting Director General of SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk confirmed the approval of the company’s listing on the bourse.

“MTN sought to come to the market by way of an introduction and they wrote to the SEC last week requesting for approval to register its existing shares. That approval has now been granted.

“This is a further indication of the determination by the SEC to work with companies that are interested in the capital market. We believe that this will also encourage other service providers to come to the market,” the statement read.

The carrier appointed former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Lamido Sanusi, who’s now the Emir of Kano, to its board last week in preparation for the listing.

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