MTN is ‘pleased’ with Nigerian business and is ‘getting everything arranged’ for IPO, Group CEO Rob Shuter said.
Shuter who spoke on Bloomberg TV said the company has gotten its business focused operationally and is recording decent growth as the Nigerian economy improves.
“We are pleased with how our business is going in Nigeria,” he said.
Speaking on the Nigerian IPO, Shuter described the process as complicated and involving a lot of regulations. He however added that the process is expected to be completed to give way for the IPO announcement in six months.
“We’ve got a lot of advisers running around to be ready. We would like successful listing so we are watching the market there as well. We are moving forward with the project and we anticipate completing that in the next 6 months subject to market conditions. The Nigerian team is on top of what they need to do there.”
Unregistered SIM cards
Responding to allegations that unregistered SIMs on the network were aiding the terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigeria, Shuter revealed that the CEOs of the companies operating in Nigeria are working together to do more in the area of SIM registration.
“SIM registration is a really complicated area with lots of concern for civil safety and unrest. I was recently at a meeting with other CEOs in Nigeria. There is more we can all do and we are working together in a constructive way to put those together,” he said.
Growth prospect in South Africa
Shuter expressed concerns about the growth rate in South Africa noting that the economy desperately needs growth.
“There is still very good prospect for data across the South African market so that’s a major focus for all the operators. Inflation is still running 4 – 6% so the operators are growing around 5 – 6%. We are doing okay but the South African economy desperately needs growth and if we can have more growth trajectory, it can help us all in our industry,” Shuter said.
In spite of the position of the Donald Trump-led administration on Iran, Shuter said MTN is not holding back on its investment in Iran. Instead, he said the company is putting a lot of investment into the ground in Irancell; he added that there is a big demand for mobile and data in Iran.
“The company [Irancell] has been able to fund its own Capex program over the years. There is a big push there [and] it’s one of our strongest growing data markets. For us, it’s very much business as usual in Iran,” he said.
Regarding money repatriation from Iran, he said the company still has some legacy loan repayment and dividends owed over the years.
“We are working with our team there and with the authorities to repatriate those over the next 6 months or so,” Shuter said.