Trading in MTN shares was halted on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on Monday amid uncertainty over a $5.2 billion fine for failing to comply with an order to disconnect customers with unregistered phone cards. On the other reports confirm they agreed to pay a US$5,2bn (R72bn) fine imposed by the Nigerian Communications Commission.
The share sell-off will cast a massive shadow over what MTN had hoped would be a good-news week, as its broad-based BEE scheme, Zakhele, starts trading on the JSE’s special BEE segment on Thursday.
Shareholders in the scheme – who own 4% of MTN – who had hoped to cash in will have to take a massive loss or hold on to the shares.
The old over-the-counter system for trading Zakhele shares closed last month to prepare for the transition.
After this week’s plunge, the entire Zakhele scheme’s value dropped from R14 billion to R11.4 billion, before the traditional discount that BEE schemes suffer because anyone buying shares has to be approved and confirmed to be a black South African.