South Africa’s MTN to reap huge benefits from lifting of Iran sanctions

MTN Group’s shares rose, Monday, following news that sanctions against Iran, where 21 percent of its subscriber base is from, have been lifted.

The international nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, confirmed that Iran has completed the necessary preparatory steps to start the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. With Iran scaling back its atomic activities in line with the agreement, sanctions have been lifted, unfreezing billions of dollars of assets, including MTN’s $1.1 billion profits. MTN has a 49 percent stake in government-controlled MTN Irancell, the second-largest mobile phone operator in Iran. Apart from being able to repatriate its fund, the lifting of the sanctions opens up Iran to improved growth and investment which will impact MTN’s business growth.

According to Reuters, by 08:58 GMT, the stock was up 2.22 percent at R120.88.

The South African firm faces a $5.2 billion fine in Nigeria over failure to disconnect some 5.2 million unregistered lines. The fine has dealt its shares a blow in the past few months. The company is contesting the decision of the Nigerian telecoms regulator before a Federal High Court.