MTN. Picture: BLOOMBERG/WALDO SWIEGERS
MTN. Picture: BLOOMBERG/WALDO SWIEGERS

MTN's share price jumped as much as 8.6% to R86.97 on Wednesday morning on news from a Lagos-based news site that the $8.1bn the Nigerian government demands it repatriate may be reduced to $800m.

But its share price settled back to Tuesday's closing price of R81 as the market started to doubt the veracity of the story carried by Punch, headlined “Senate, executive may clash again over MTN’s $8.1bn fine”.

“Some senators, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent on Tuesday, that the executive, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, had allegedly perfected arrangements to reduce the fine through the ‘back door’,” Punch said in its report.

Bloomberg said it confirmed Punch’s story.

“A deal hasn’t been signed and could yet fall through, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the talks are ongoing,” Bloomberg reported.

laingr@businesslive.co.za