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The JSE suspends the trade of shares in MTN over multibillion dollar fine to Nigerian regulator

by , 02 November 2015

A week ago, shares in MTN plunged as news broke that the telecoms company was facing a huge fine from the Nigerian telecoms regulator. The fine relates to MTN not disconnecting unregistered subscribers timeously.

Shares in MTN fell hard last week on the news. And this morning, the JSE has stepped in and suspended trade in the company's shares.

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

After a further fall this morning, trade in MTN shares ceases

This morning, the JSE stopped the trade of MTN [JSE:MTN] shares, reports Bloomberg. The exchange has taken this step “amid uncertainty over a $5.2 billion fine” the company is facing.
The move by the JSE came after shares in MTN fell a further 8% this morning, says Fin24. Shares fell after reports emerged that “MTN had agreed to pay the $5.2 billion to Nigerian regulators in staggered payments”.
Since news of the impending fine emerged last week, shares in MTN have lost some 22%, notes IOL
You can see this on the chart below…
Chart of MTN's share price

The JSE is investigating MTN 

Last Friday, the JSE began a probe “into the timing of MTN’s announcement” of the fine, reports BDLive. The JSE is investigating whether or not MTN breached any “listing requirements”.
There are also some analysts who’ve said that reports of the fine appeared “in Nigerian media early on the morning of October 26,” whereas MTN only informed the stock exchange at 14:24 that afternoon, says Fin24. In addition, the JSE is also investigating trades that happened before the release of MTN’s SENS announcement to try to “determine if there was possible insider trading”.
Statements from both MTN and the JSE are expected later today, notes MoneyWeb
Time will tell how long the JSE keeps shares of MTN from trading. But suspension of MTN shares isn’t good news for shareholders who want to sell their shares.
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The JSE suspends the trade of shares in MTN over multibillion dollar fine to Nigerian regulator
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