MTN Group Rakes in $138m from Jumia stakes sale

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The MTN Group has sold its 18.9 per cent stakes in Jumia, raking in ($138m ) from the deal.

This was made know by the Group President and CEO of MTN, Ralph Mupita, in the company’s third-quarter financial report released on Friday.

The MTN CEO said its Nigerian unit had declared and paid its final dividend for 2019, as well as its interim 2020 dividend, totalling R5.4bn as of September 2020.

According to the report, there are delays in the repatriation of the cash to the group in Q3 due to challenges scarcity of foreign currency in Nigeria.

Last year, MTN had informed the public of possible exit from Jumia, a Pan-African e-commerce platform. The telco said it planned to raise about $600m from a private sale of its shares.

Also Read: Lift for E-Commerce Firm Jumia as Andrew Left is Buying its Shares Again

On Friday, Mupita expressed optimism that the availability of dollars would improve in the last quarter of the year and upstreaming of dividends would resume.

The MTN boss said overall data traffic had remained at elevated levels while voice traffic and revenue, which initially came under significant pressure, had recovered and the fintech revenue had increased month-on-month.

With regard to the September 2020 level for the group’s data traffic against April 2020, the report said the level of activity was 10.2 per cent higher, and up 8.9 per cent QoQ in Q3.

The MTN boss attributed the rising data demand to shifts in consumer spending patterns during the peak periods of lockdowns and restrictions as funds that would been directed elsewhere were channelled into data and other digital services.

“For our largest markets on the same basis: MTN SA was up by two per cent (and 4.1 per cent QoQ), MTN Nigeria increased by 22.1 per cent (and 15.2 per cent QoQ), while MTN Ghana was up by 9.3 per cent (and 5.6 per cent QoQ),” the report said.

“As restrictions have been lifted, we have observed some reversal in this trend. Since April 2020, during which the effects of COVID-19 were the most severe, the trajectory for voice has been encouraging. Group voice traffic was up by 11.5 per cent at the end of September 2020 compared to the April 2020 level.

“For MTN SA, voice traffic was seven per cent higher in September versus April, MTN Nigeria was up by 14.1 per cent and MTN Ghana had increased by 5.6 per cent. These trends are evidence of the recovery in voice traffic since the most severe impacts of COVID-19.”

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