S&P affirms MTN rating as Nigerian fine still looms


Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has affirmed MTN’s credit rating, adding that its decision to hold back on dividends was positive.

S&P said in a statement:

"We view MTN's decision to lower dividends and maintain sufficient liquidity for its normal obligations, while retaining flexibility to address the pending fine, as positive… We also note increased sovereign risk related to Nigeria and South Africa, which contribute, respectively, 35% and 27% of MTN's revenue."

S&P kept MTN on a negative outlook due to the uncertainty regarding its outstanding Nigerian fine amount. Nigerian authorities fined MTN some $5.2 billion last October for failing to disconnect more than five million subscribers ahead of a set deadline. As a result of the fine, MTN gave a downbeat outlook on future dividends as it reported its full-year results earlier this year.

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