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MTN shares plunge after profit warning

South Africa

MTN shares slid by 13 percent on Friday morning after the company issued a profit warning.

Africa’s biggest wireless operator, said 2015 earnings fell at least 20 percent due to loss of business in Nigeria.

The row in Nigeria forced the company to cut off 5.1 million unregistered subscribers after the Nigerian Communications Commission said it was in an effort to tighten security in a country fighting the threat of Islamist insurgency.

Currently, the company is locked in discussions with the government over a proposed $3.9 billion fine imposed after the wireless operator missed a deadline to disconnect the unregistered subscribers.

MTN said the profit warning did not include the penalty because of the ongoing talks.

“There remains some uncertainty as to the final amount of the Nigerian fine, should an out of court settlement be reached,” the company said

Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market with 63 million customers.

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