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MTN Nigeria Needed Just 16 Minutes to Reverse Market Fortune

  • Long-awaited debut ends Nigeria market’s downward march
  • Wireless carrier becomes 2nd-biggest listed firm in country
Sim card sellers for MTN Group Ltd. mobile network wait for customers at a roadside kiosk in Lagos

Sim card sellers for MTN Group Ltd. mobile network wait for customers at a roadside kiosk in Lagos

Photographer: George Osodi
Updated on

MTN Group Ltd. has been promising to list its Nigerian business on the Lagos stock exchange for almost three years, yet it took just 16 minutes for the mobile-phone giant to cause a sensation.

After a lengthy ceremony of speeches, congratulations and rounds of applause delayed the start of trading for more than half an hour, it looked as though MTN Nigeria Communications Plc may not trade at all with the market due to close for the day at 2:30 p.m. The listing finally took place at 2:14 p.m. local time, leaving only a brief window before traders knocked off for the day.