Still no clarity on MTN, Reliance talks

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

MTN shareholders were disappointed yesterday when the board remained mum on its talks with Indian telecommunications company Reliance Communications.

Cyril Ramaphosa, the chairman of the MTN Group, kept the yearly general meeting brief, cutting short any hopes of discussions about the Reliance deal.

"Let's start a minute and a half early otherwise we'll resemble a prayer meeting in church," Ramaphosa said in a light-hearted moment.

He confined the meeting to 30 minutes, saying only matters related to the notice of the meeting would be discussed by shareholders.

The only unexpected event was the resignation of Saudi Arabian Sheikh Hassan Sharbatly from the board of MTN.

Shareholders were anxious to gain clarity on the status of talks between MTN and Reliance, headed by Anil Ambani. Anil's older brother, Mukesh has objected to Anil's bid to merge Reliance Communications with MTN, saying his permission is required for any sale of the family's shares.