MTN back in hot water

28 September 2016 - 10:23 By Bloomberg

MTN has been accused by a Nigerian lawmaker of transferring $13.92-billion (about R187.3-billion) out of the country illegally - an allegation that could reignite acrimony between Africa's biggest cellular networks operator by sales and the government in its biggest market. The motion was proposed, under the Unscrupulous Violation of the Foreign Exchange Act, by Senator Dino Melaye, yesterday's Senate order-of-the-day showed."The Senate notes with serious concern the repatriation of $13.92-billion illegally out of Nigeria by MTN," the motion said.An MTN spokesman was not immediately available to comment.The operator's shares fell as much as 4.4%, the biggest fall on the close since June 27, and traded 2.8% lower at R120.50 yesterday afternoon in Johannesburg.The accusation was made a little over three months after MTN agreed to pay a 330-billion naira fine in cash to the Nigerian government and list its local unit on the country's stock exchange after about eight months of negotiations.The penalty was levied for missing a deadline to disconnect 5.1million customers using unregistered SIM cards.

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