The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) has officially added 641 million ordinary shares of MTN Nigerian Plc to its trading platform as a result of the company’s scrip dividend scheme. This development was highlighted in the latest NGX weekly report, which was obtained by Nairametrics.
NGX notified Trading License Holders about the inclusion of 641,047,053 ordinary shares of 2 kobo each of MTN Nigeria Communication Plc. These shares were listed on the Daily Official List of the Nigerian Exchange Limited on August 16, 2023. This listing has resulted from MTN’s Scrip Dividend Election Scheme.
With the addition of these shares, MTN’s total issued and fully paid-up shares have grown from 20,354,513,050 to 20,995,560,103 ordinary shares of 2 kobo each. MTN Nigeria secured the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission to register these ordinary shares, allowing the company to distribute dividends in the form of shares to its shareholders. This announcement was conveyed through an official statement signed by Company Secretary, Uto Ukpanah, which was sent to Nigeria Exchange Limited.
The statement explains that under the newly established scrip dividend election plan (the “Plan”), 5,192 shareholders elected to receive their FY 2022 final dividends in the form of shares. This resulted in the issuance of 641,047,053 new ordinary shares of 2 kobo each at a value of N232.68 per share. Consequently, the total issued shares of MTN Nigeria have increased to 20,995,560,103.
The concept of a scrip dividend involves a company offering its shareholders the choice to receive dividends in the form of additional shares, rather than cash payments. The term “election” implies that shareholders can decide whether to receive their dividends as cash or additional shares.
It’s noteworthy that MTN reported a 29.14% decline in its profit for the first half of 2023, amounting to N128 billion compared to N181 billion during the same period in 2022. However, the company experienced a 21.96% growth in revenue, reaching N1.15 trillion in H1 2023, up from N950 billion in the corresponding period of 2022.
Discussing the financial performance, MTN Nigeria’s CEO, Karl Toriola, acknowledged the challenging operating conditions in the first half of 2023 due to factors like elevated energy, food, and general inflation levels. He attributed these challenges to adverse global macroeconomic and geopolitical conditions, cash shortages experienced in Q1, forex volatility, and supply chain uncertainties.
Toriola also mentioned that swift reforms were implemented following the inauguration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in May 2023. These reforms aimed to eliminate the fuel subsidy and liberalize foreign exchange management, with the goal of boosting investor confidence and stimulating growth and investment in Nigeria.
Although Toriola expects these policy reforms to positively impact the economy in the medium to long term, he acknowledged that they have created short-term financial pressures on consumers and businesses, which will reflect in the company’s margins.