MTN Nigeria’s share price is experiencing fluctuations on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) amidst xenophobia scares, which has incited social media calls for a boycott and reported violent reprisal attacks on South African companies in Nigeria.
The ongoing xenophobic attack in South Africa was met with heated protests against major South African companies, MTN, Shoprite and Multichoice (DStv) operating in Nigeria. There have also been reports of the close-down of MTN outlets, DStv offices and Shoprite malls around the country due to the hostilities.
Following these less than savoury events, investor confidence in MTN Nigeria’s stocks — trading as MTNN — seemingly remained unshaken yesterday, but the dust is far from settled.
Opening Tuesday with a share price of ₦138.5 ($0.38), MTN gained 1.08% to finish trading at ₦140 ($0.4) per share. Interestingly, the total number of trades on MTN stocks went up from 1.8 million on Monday, to 3.49 million on Tuesday.
However, as at press time, MTNN is currently among the top 5 decliners on the stock market, with a 1.39% decline.
After a hard-fought battle, MTN ended trading for the month of August as the most valuable company on the NSE. With a market capitalisation of ₦2.849 trillion ($7.86 billion), it is currently ₦123 billion ($340 million) ahead of Dangote Cement which is on 2.72 trillion ($7.45 billion).
Also, with a reported 65.26 million GSM subscribers and 52.26 internet users, the telecom giant remains the top of the pile amongst telecom companies in Nigeria.
In light of this, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has advised Nigerians to refrain from attacking South African companies since investors and staff of such companies are Nigerians. Attacking them would be a case of self-harm.
The atmosphere in both countries is far from settled and given MTN’s key role in the country, it will be interesting to see how this affects the telecom industry and the stock market going forward.