The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, has confirmed ongoing talks with leading South Africa owned service provider, MTN Nigeria, on its planned listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE.
Director-General of the SEC , Mr Mounir Gwarzo, who addressed newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos after the second Capital Market Committee (CMC) meeting, the SEC boss said outcome of the talks would be known to the public when finalised.
The Nigerian government had said telecommunication firms operating in the country should list on the local bourse, though nothing concrete was yet to be realised.
Last year, the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) fined MTN Nigeria N330 billion for failing to disconnect unregistered SIM cards on its network and this had a negative effect on its earnings for the year.
However, speaking today, Gwarzo said his agency has met with MTN Nigeria and has suggested ways to the firm on how to successfully list its shares on the NSE trading platform.
“Concerning listing of MTN (Nigeria) on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, we have started discussions with them and also given them ideas on how to make it possible.
“We hope very soon, when the discussions are over, the company will announce its listing to investing public.
“I believe it (the listing) will boost our economy and showcase Nigeria as a good place to invest,” the SEC chief told newsmen.
During the meeting, SEC emphatically told MTN that it was ready to support the company on its share sale as long as it was within local laws. It advised the telecom firm to ensure retail investors were protected.
MTN Nigeria had also stressed that it was ready to list its Nigerian unit on the NSE in 2017, subject to market conditions, part of an agreement with the Nigerian government after agreeing to pay a reduced fine of $1.7 billion in a settlement over unregistered SIM cards.