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MTN Nigeria shares shed 10% after IPO pricing

MTN wants to sell down its holding in MTN Nigeria over time.
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Shares of Nigeria’s second-biggest listed company, MTN Nigeria, fell 10% on Wednesday to a five-week low after it set a retail public offer price that was lower than its share price on the stock market.

South African telecoms group MTN opened its offer for sale to retail investors on Wednesday at 169 naira per share to sell up to 575 million shares in MTN Nigeria.

The public offer, which closes on Dec. 14, marks the first phase of a share sale to retail investors where the South African company will seek to sell down its holding in MTN Nigeria to 65% from 78% over time, MTN Group Chief Executive Ralph Mupita said at a roadshow in Abuja.

MTN Group Chairman Mcebisi Jonas attended the roadshow, which was held on the sidelines of a state visit by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The drop in MTN Nigeria shares pushed the main share index down 1.8% to a three-week low.

MTN listed its Nigerian business in Lagos two years ago at 90 naira each, becoming the second-largest stock by market capitalisation.

In March 2020, MTN Nigeria shares fell back to the listing price due to lockdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

There have been few initial public offerings in Nigeria since the 2008 global financial crisis, which wiped out more than 60% of the stock market’s capitalisation.

The MTN offer includes one bonus share for every 20 purchased, an incentive open to retail investors who hold shares for at least 12 months after allotment.

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