Latest on MTN Nigeria debacle with EFCC

May 28, 2019
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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday distanced itself from the ongoing investigation of the MTN Nigeria Plc listing of its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, NSE said it did not involve the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the investigation relating to the listing, adding that the commission has its investigators if there are any infractions to be investigated.

The Commission said its investigators are competent enough to handle the matter. The Commission also disclosed that it would take precautionary measures while handling the case, bearing in mind the global impacts on local shareholders and foreign investors.

“If there is any infraction(s), the matter would be directed to the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) which is a superior court under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Nigeria: we will prosecute whoever is found wanting or apply the necessary sanction if such a case is established by the facts.

There were media reports that the EFCC was involved in the investigation by SEC, and that they raided MTN‘s head office in Falomo, Victoria Island.

MTN had since cleared the rumours, insisting that it was rather a visit, and that they are co-operating with the EFCC by providing all necessary information as regards the listing of the telecoms company’s shares on the NSE.

ALSO READ: NSE listing: MTN under investigation

MTN‘s shares declined further by 7.41% on Monday as investors cut down on demand as a result of the ongoing investigation on the telecom company.

Recall that there has been reports of scarcity of the shares since its listing, which resulted to alleged price manipulation. Consequently, some minority shareholders had decried the inability of retail investors to have access to the shares since May 16 after the listing.

They accused capital market regulators of conniving with MTN Nigeria Communications to allegedly manipulate the performance of the share price at the exchange.

They said that the MTN Nigeria did not meet the free float of 20 per cent before listing.

Sunny Nwosu, Founder, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), described the listing as “a fraudulent game.” “Our conclusion as shareholders is that they have come to play us a game which is not far from fraudulent game, the nominal value of MTN shares is not certain.

He said that the exchange had set a bad precedent in the market by allowing some companies to list without meeting the free float requirement thereby creating a bad image.

But the NSE recently said that the total number of MTN shares in the hands of over 700 Nigerians, who are not promoters, controlling interests, directors, that were unbundled upon listing was about 1.8 billion.

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