The shares of MTN Group has risen by 5% following the news that Nigeria’s CBN is tracking back on the sanctions it placed on its Nigerian subsidiary last week. MTN Nigeria was penalized last week by the apex bank for allegedly repatriating funds illegally.
According to the CBN, the telco, in collaboration with four banks, had funneled about $8.1 billion back to South Africa. The funds were illegally transferred between 2006 and 2016. That sum was transferred using forged documents that breached Nigeria’s forex regulations.
Although MTN and the affected banks deny any wrongdoings, the CBN imposed strict sanctions on all parties. The banks were slammed with hefty fines while MTN was ordered to refund the $8.1 billion.
Meanwhile, as the CBN fine caused a huge steer, the telco was hit with another fine for tax evasion. Nigeria’s Attorney General slammed the company with a $2 billion tax bill. These dual shocks triggered a plunge of MTN’s shares to a 9-year low.
However, things appear to be looking up for the telco now. According to some reports, the CBN is softening its stance on the $8.1 billion sanctions.
The banking regulator shared that it is reviewing the matter based on new information presented by the affected banks. Although the CBN has not announced that it will drop its order but it has admitted to pursuing “equitable resolution” on the matter.
“In response to the recent regulatory actions, the Banks and MTN are engaging the CBN and have provided additional information which is currently being reviewed with a view to arriving at an equitable resolution,” the CBN said.
MTN’s share price rose following the news. Yet, just like in the case of the N1 trillion fine on the telco a few years back, nothing is certain for now.