N1.04 trillion fine: South African stock exchange suspends trading in MTN shares

MTN-Africa

The South African bourse has suspended trading in the shares of telecoms firm MTN on Monday, a senior official said, a week after the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, slammed an unprecedented N1.04 trillion ($5.2 billion) fine on the telecom operator.


“Yes, trading in MTN shares has been suspended and the information was broadcast across the trading platform,” said Peter Redman of the exchange’s surveillance department.

MTN was fined last week by Nigerian regulator for failure to cut off unregistered users.

MTN is Africa’s biggest phone operator, and derives its largest (a third) earnings from Nigeria.

It has 5.1 million unregistered or incomplete subscribers in Nigeria.

The NCC had in August directed mobile telecoms companies to deactivate all unregistered SIM cards or face severe sanctions.

MTN missed the deadline to deactivate its 5.1 million unregistered subscribers, prompting a 200,000-naira ($1,000) fine for each unregistered SIM.

MTN’s shares fell sharply shortly after the fine last week, closing 12.49 percent lower at 167 rand — the lowest in several years.

The firm has up to November 16 to pay the fine, the NCC said.


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