The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has stormed the head office of telecommunications firm, MTN in Lagos.
The visit, according to sources within the firm was night have to do with the recently share listing of MTN on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The South African telecommunications firm had listed by introduction, 20.4 billion ordinary shares at N90 on the NSE.
Although there was no official confirmation from MTN as at press time, about the EFCC visit, but an inside source disclosed that the EFCC at about 4pm, met with the management and went away with some documents after some deliberations.
‘‘The EFCC came this afternoon, met the management and I think they went away with some documents.’’
Recall that since the listing, there have been reports of scarcity of the shares and alleged manipulation.
Stock brokers decried the inability of retail investors to have access to the shares of MTN Nigeria on the floor of the NSE.
Boniface Okezie, a representative of minority shareholders was reported to have said that: “Shareholders are not happy because we could not buy their shares; it was not available and we don’t share in all the excitement going around.”
The capital market regulators have also been accused of conniving with MTN Nigeria Plc to allegedly manipulate the performance of the telecom firm’s share price at the exchange.
Specifically, they argued that by allowing MTN a free float of only 5.542 million shares admitted for trading at N90/share worth N498 million when it listed by way of introduction on The NSE, rather than unbundling all the units of shares in its holding, the managers might have unwittingly created a situation of scarcity in the market.
Under the terms, “the free float requirement for companies on the Alternative Securities Market (ASEM) board is 15 per cent of market capitalisation while 20 percent is prescribed for companies listed on the main board and also premium board is 20 per cent of market capitalisation or above N40 billion on the date the exchange receives the issuer’s application.”
The Chairman of Association of Licensed Telecomunication Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo confirmed EFCC visit MTN but on a positive note.