Market Operators Lobby to Benefit from Proposed MTN Listing


Goddy Egene

As the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) awaits the formal application of the MTN Group to list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), THISDAY checks have revealed that some local stockroking firms have started lobbying to be part of the offer.

The Africa’s biggest mobile-phone operator had agreed to list its shares in Nigeria as part of a deal to pay a N330 billion ($1 billion) fine in cash to the Nigerian government for missing a deadline to disconnect unregistered subscribers.

Preparatory to the listing, MTN last month announced the appointment of Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited (together with its affiliates, The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited and Standard Advisory London Limited) and Citigroup Global Markets Limited as its Joint Transaction Advisors and Joint Global Coordinators with Stanbic acting as Lead Issuing House.

Although SEC said last week it was yet to receive the formal application from MTN, local stockbrokers have started working towards becoming part of the Nigerian parties to the offer so as to earn some income.
Market sources said brokers that have been having close working relationship with the Stanbic Capital and Citi Bank in Nigeria are already exploring that relationship to be part of the deal.

“If it eventually comes, the MTN listing will be major deal in the market. Considering that fact that the market has been without initial public offering for a long time, this is an opportunity no one would want to miss. I can tell you that many operators are working out strategies to be part of the offer,” a senior stockbroker told THISDAY on Monday.

The broker explained that “as you are aware, MTN has said a full syndicate including Nigerian parties will be appointed in due and this is the time for whoever that wants to be part of the that local team to work for it.”
MTN had said in a statement last month that it was targeting 2017 to list its shares on the NSE.

“MTN Nigeria is pleased to announce that its Board of Directors has resolved to proceed with preparations for a listing of MTN Nigeria on the NSE as soon as commercially and legally possible and has established a management task team with the responsibility to guide the company towards a listing. At present, MTN Nigeria is targeting that the listing takes place during 2017, subject to suitable market conditions,” the company had said.

It added that Stanbic IBTC Capital, the Nigerian arm of Johannesburg-based Standard Bank, will be the lead issuing house, while a full syndicate including Nigerian parties will be appointed in due course.

There have been calls by government officials, market regulators and operators to list GSM operators and major oil companies operating in Nigeria on the NSE as way of deepening the local bourse and enable investors share from the huge profits they are making from the economy.