Shares in MTN Group rose as much as 8.2% on Thursday morning after the JSE-listed telecommunications operator said it had reached a favourable settlement with Nigeria’s central bank.
The shares traded as high as R92.50 on Thursday, and were last quoted up 7.1% at R91.59 at 9.36am in Johannesburg trading.
TechCentral reported on Monday that MTN would pay just US$53.2-million (about R774-million) in a settlement with the Nigerian central bank, a tiny fraction of the $8.1-billion (R118-billion) the Bank had sought from the group’s subsidiary in the West African country.
MTN Group shares plunged 22% on 30 August when it emerged that the Nigerian central bank had ordered four banks to refund the $8.1-billion it claimed was illegally expatriated by the telecoms provider between 2007 and 2015. Its shares, which trade on the JSE, have failed to recover significant ground since then on investor fears.
A second allegation by Nigerian authorities that MTN owes $2-billion in back taxes remains the subject of dispute, however. That matter is due to be heard by a Nigerian court in February next year.
MTN shares remain down 37% year to date. — (c) 2018 NewsCentral Media