[dropcap]M[/dropcap]TN has reportedly agreed to settle a fine of US$8.5m (about R114m) with the Rwandan government after negotiations over the fine broke down.
The fine was imposed on the Rwandan subsidiary of the Johannesburg-headquartered and JSE-listed mobile telecommunications group after it allegedly failed to comply with a regulatory directive precluding it from including its operation there in the IT hub it runs in Uganda.
Local news website Rwanda Eye has now reported that MTN has agreed to pay the fine in full by the end of the month. The amount will be settled by MTN Rwanda and not by the parent group.
At the end of December 2016, MTN Rwanda has 4.1m subscribers on its books.
The Rwanda fine is a tiny fraction of the one imposed on MTN by Nigerian authorities in 2015, but is a reminder of the complex regulatory challenges the operator faces in some of its markets.
In 2015, the Nigerian Communications Commission imposed a US$5,2bn fine on the group’s Nigerian subsidiary after it failed to disconnect more than 5m unregistered Sim cards. That fine was later reduced to about $1bn, but not before it had claimed the scalp of CEO Sifiso Dabengwa and led to a major group restructuring.
MTN operates in 22 countries in the Middle East in Africa. It’s most important markets are Nigeria, South Africa and Iran.
The group’s share price was trading at R116.14 at 11.57am on Monday, up 0.3% on the session. The counter has fallen by 17.5%% in the past 12 months. — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media