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The government weighs up MTN's impending fine and what it could mean for SA

by , 05 November 2015

Last week, news broke that send MTN's share price reeling and resulted in the JSE temporarily suspending trading of the company's shares on Monday.

Now the government has addressed the matter.

Let's take a closer look at what's going on…


The government comments on the MTN debacle

 
Yesterday, Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president, said the government “were keeping a close eye on developments in Nigeria and wanted to see” how MTN would deal with the matter, says IOL. He said the government wishes all companies to adhere with “the laws and regulations of countries where they operate”.
 
This comes as MTN is facing a fine of $5.2 billion from the Nigerian communications regulator. The regulator is fining MTN for not disconnecting unregistered subscribers in a timeously manner.
 
Renaissance Capital says that MTN is trying to reduce the fine “by as much as 80%,” reports Fin24. The company has reportedly approached banks to borrow money to assist it settling the fine.
 
Chairwoman of Parliament’s telecommunications committee, Nkhensani Kubayi, told Bloomberg that the impending fine is “a worrying issue”. The committee has plans to check with the SA telecoms regulator that MTN is adhering to “local rules”.
 

A massive fine for MTN will impact South Africa’s tax revenues

 
Ramaphosa said the current issue facing MTN is not only a problem for shareholders in the company, “but also for the country’s tax base and the already dwindling, much-needed reserves,” notes the SABC.
 
The deputy president didn’t “indicate any sort of involvement or intervention by the government” to assist with MTN’s current situation, adds IOL.
 
Time is running out for MTN to reduce the fine from the Nigerian regulator, adds Bloomberg. The company has until 16 November to settle it.
 
At time of writing, shares in MTN are trading 1.08% lower at R161.52.
 
The next week-and-a-half will determine what lies in store for MTN with regards to its multibillion dollar fine.
 
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The government weighs up MTN's impending fine and what it could mean for SA
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