Public Investment Corp (PIC) has increased its stake in MTN Group, Africa’s largest wireless carrier by sales, from about 24% to almost 26%, after the latter’s share price tumbled 19% amid an ongoing crisis in Nigeria. Bloomberg notes that MTN’s share price has plummeted since the authorities in Nigeria in late August alleged that the South Africa-based carrier had illegally transferred USD8.1 billion out of the country, made worse by the fact that it also stands accused of owing USD2 billion in unpaid taxes in Nigeria – its biggest market. However, with indications looking favourable that MTN has resolved the illegal transfer claim, Deon Botha, head of corporate affairs at PIC, is quoted as saying that the fund believes the regional operator ‘has a strong set of assets and competencies’.
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