MTN shares hit 6-year high, gets nod on mobile money license

Shares of MTN Group Ltd surged in Johannesburg after the wireless operator moved closer to securing a lucrative mobile money license in Nigeria, more than two years after submitting an application to authorities.

The continent’s largest telecommunications company jumped 19 per cent and was up 10 per cent weekend, the highest since 2015. The stock is the best performance of the year on the Bloomberg World Telecommunications Index.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has granted conditional approval to MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and its small rival Airtel Africa Plc to operate mobile banking services in Africa’s most populous country. This means that they can submit applications to the regulator for a final license that will allow them to accept deposits, offer money transfer services and issue electronic wallets, in accordance with regulatory guidelines.

Airtel climbed 11 per cent to 121.10 pence at 1:35 p.m. in London, the highest on a closing basis since its 2019 IPO.

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