The JSE is engaged in what its GM for issuer regulation, Andre Visser, is terming “focused conversation” with the sponsor of MTN, Deutsche Securities. It is doing so in the interests of the telecommunications operator’s shareholders, Visser said.
The remarks by Visser come as MTN comes under heavy fire from some quarters for failing to alert the market of a US$5,2bn fine imposed on its Nigerian subsidiary by the Nigerian Commissions Commission (NCC) for more than seven hours after the JSE’s Sens news service opened on Monday and more than five hours into the day’s trading session.
“The JSE is having focused conversation with the sponsors in the interest of MTN shareholders,” Visser said in reply to an e-mailed query from TechCentral about whether the bourse would investigate allegations that MTN took too long to notify shareholders of the fine, which sent the group’s share price plummeting.
It’s not yet clear whether the JSE will launch a formal investigation into the matter. Media and communications head Pheliswa Mayekiso said the bourse would not comment further for now. “Should we have further updates, we will keep you posted.”
News that the NCC had imposed the massive fine on MTN Nigeria for failing to cut off 5,1m unregistered Sim cards before a regulatory deadline expired came well before markets opened in Johannesburg on Monday morning. The news was first published on Nigerian website Technology Times.
Yet MTN only informed shareholders of the news at 2.24pm. This was after millions of shares had traded hands and the share price had declined substantially on the session.
By the close of the day’s trading, MTN’s market capitalisation had slumped by R44bn, shedding 12,5% of its value. It continued sliding into Tuesday’s session, and was last seen trading at R159,70/share, down by 4,4%. Earlier, it touched an intraday low of R158,35. — (c) 2015 NewsCentral Media