Investors of MTN Nigeria Plc. have lost about N40 billion in two days over the reprisal attacks on MTN offices in Nigeria.
The investigation by New Telegraph showed that MTN shares, which opened at N140 per share and N2.849 trillion in market capitalization at the beginning of trading on Wednesday lost about N30 billion or N1.07 per share to close at N138.50 per share and N2.819 trillion in market capitalization at the close of the market the previous day.
The telecom firm also shed N10 billion or 45 kobos per share at the close of trading yesterday to close at N138.05 per share from N2.819 trillion in capitalization to N2.809 trillion, bringing a cumulative loss to N40 billion.
There had been attacks and demonstrations at MTN offices to protest xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreigners in South Africa.
MTN Nigeria had, on Wednesday 4th of September, confirmed attacks on its offices, saying that all MTN stores and service centers would be closed until further notice.
The company stated this in a letter sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by its Company Secretary, Uto Ukpanah.
Ukpanah, in the letter, confirmed that over the last day, He said that the company had confirmed reports of attacks in Lagos, Ibadan, and Uyo.
“our facilities, customers and some of our stakeholders have been the subject of attacks in retaliation for the ongoing xenophobia situation in South Africa.”
“While we remain committed to providing uninterrupted services, the safety and security of our customers, members of staff and partners is our primary concern.
“All MTN stores and service centers will, therefore, be closed as a precaution, until further notice,” Ukpanah newtelegraghng.com
Reacting to the development, the Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Boniface Okezie, said the market reacted negatively to the shares of the telecom company after the shut down of their shops nationwide following xenophobic attacks.
“Since they shut down the shops, the market has to react. MTN should talk to their home country to stop these attacks on foreigners. If this provocation continues, the company will not have enabling environment to operate. If it continues, we will nationalize South African companies in Nigeria.
“We need to take the bull by the horn, but unfortunately, we have a weak government; Obasanjo’s regime wouldn’t have tolerated this rubbish. And because our economy is still crawling, our people will continue to run away to other countries. The Federal Government should reposition the economy to encourage Nigerians to stay in this country,” newtelegraphng.com
Also, Shehu Mikail, National President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, said that MTN, the continent’s largest mobile phone operator, fell after the company closed its offices in Nigeria following attacks on its premises in three cities.
He noted that MTN Nigeria is the largest mobile operator in Nigeria with 60.3 million subscribers and 20.4 million active data.
He added that with 50 percent market share by revenue, MTN has the largest fiber network coverage of 25,800km.