MTN Nigeria targets dividend payout ratio of at least 80% to investors

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MTN said it targets a dividend payout ratio of at least 80% of net income in the medium term, it said in the investor presentation.

MTN Nigeria is also arranging local currency financing, the telecoms company said in presentation to investors as part of its stock market listing.

MTN Nigeria, owned by South Africa’s MTN Group, said it has relied on local funding to reduce the impact of currency volatility on its business and that total debt rose 44% to 252 billion naira ($823.66 million) in the first quarter.

The funds will enable Africa’s largest wireless carrier to finance capital expenditure to increase the reach and efficiency of its network in Nigeria, Chief Financial Officer Adekunle Awobodu said by phone from Lagos. MTN has also started the process of listing its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The company had announced plans to raise as much as 400 billion naira last year, and later signed to a 200 billion naira credit line with a group of banks. MTN is “currently arranging” for another 200 billion naira, according to Awobodu.

It registered 20.35 billion ordinary shares with the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission last week, with about 20% expected to be listed on the Lagos bourse this week. MTN has 65.6 million subscribers in Nigeria, or 38% of the market, according to February data provided by the Nigerian Communications Commission.

The shares rose 1% to R99.85 as of 10:03 am in Johannesburg on Tuesday, valuing the company at R188 billion ($13.2 billion).

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