MTN slides on Nigeria’s $2bn claim for taxes
MTN’s Nigerian nightmare shows no sign of abating. Not a week after being hit with a shock $8.1bn claim by Nigeria’s central bank, MTN shares dived a further 17% on Tuesday to close at their lowest in 12 years after Nigerian authorities accused the mobile operator of owing the country $2bn in back taxes. CEO Rob Shuter said the “peculiar and coincidental timing” of what appears to be a regulatory assault on its business in the country was a “significant concern”, but that MTN would “vigorously defend” its position on both matters. On an already horrific day for the market, MTN shares closed at R72, taking its market losses to R67bn since Thursday, when the mobile operator was accused of having “flagrantly violated foreign-exchange regulations” by repatriating dividends between 2007 and 2015. MTN’s troubles in Nigeria highlight the risks in its business, with operations in difficult markets such as Syria and Afghanistan often shunned by multinational rivals. In July, MTN was hit by U...
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