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MTN saga: Communication Agencies say it’s important MTN comply with Nig fine

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, ICASA and Public Investment Corporation, PIC have said MTN’s $5.2bn Nigeria fine shows the importance of complying with regulation.
Speaking with Fin24 ICASA said “ICASA is unable to comment on the latest developments regarding MTN in another jurisdiction except to note that such developments are significant in that they illustrate the importance of taking compliance to all relevant legislation seriously,” said Icasa.
MTN has also faced scrutiny from ICASA this year in South Africa.
In March Icasa ordered MTN to halt collecting 0.25 US cents in interconnect fees when terminating international calls.
And in March 2014, MTN and Vodacom went to the South Gauteng High Court to challenge ICASA’s decision to cut mobile termination rates. Mobile termination rates are what networks charge each other for calls made between them, which the court ruled to be “unlawful and invalid”, but the order was suspended for six months with lower termination rates eventually coming into effect.
MTN’s shares have declined about 20% since news of the fine broke last week. The stock traded at R149.35 at 13:48.
On November 2 the Johannesburg Stock Exchange briefly suspended trade in MTN. The JSE is also investigating the mobile network for how it announced the fine last week, and for trades which occurred just prior to the announcement.
Meanwhile, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which has a 16.6% stake in MTN, has also stressed the importance of adhering to regulations in all countries.
“As a responsible investor, the PIC expects of investing companies to adhere to all the legislation of the countries in which they operate,” the PIC told Fin24 in an emailed statement.
“We are equally concerned that MTN seems to have failed to anticipate the fine and take preventative actions. We are, however, hopeful that this matter will be addressed soon for the benefit of all interested stakeholders,” said the PIC
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