Boardroom Shake Up at Africa’s Biggest Wireless Carrier

MTN Group Ltd. appointed former South Africa Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas as chairman; he will replace Phuthuma Nhleko, who plans to step down in December after almost two decades as chairman or chief executive officer of the Johannesburg-based company. Jonas, who was already a non-executive director of MTN, was deputy finance minister for almost three years before being removed by former President Jacob Zuma in 2017. Nigeria’s ex-central bank Governor Lamido Sanusi has been appointed as a non-executive director this comes as MTN prepares to list its local Nigerian unit on the Lagos stock exchange, a condition of the settlement of a $1 billion regulatory three years ago. The business is the largest of MTN’s 20-market portfolio, accounting for almost a quarter of all subscribers, and has been hampered by a series of government and local authority disputes that have hurt the company’s share price. Sanusi is now the Emir of Kano, a high-ranking position in Africa’s most populous nation and biggest crude producer. A separate board of prominent people to advise on broader African issues will be headed by former South African President Thabo Mbeki and includes John Kufuor, ex-leader of Ghana and Nhleko will also be a member of that committee. The stock held onto gains and traded 2.4 percent higher. MTN shares have gained almost 19 percent this year, valuing the company at 199 billion rand.

SOURCES: BLOOMBERG

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