If you've been wondering how MTN and Shoprite fared on the floor of Nigeria's stock exchange last week, we provide you the answer in this essay.

MTN Nigeria shares hit a three-month high at the close of business on Friday, September 6, 2019, after the telecoms company partially reopened its offices for business.

Shoprite also experienced a surge in sales on the floor of the stock exchange. 

On Wednesday, September 4, MTN announced that it was shutting down offices and shops in Nigeria until further notice, as mobs looted South African businesses in Nigeria as retaliation for xenophobic attacks targeting Nigerians and other foreign nationals in South Africa.

In May of 2019, MTN floated shares worth N20.35bn on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

An MTN recharge card outlet (Punch)

Even though MTN Nigeria stores remained closed on Friday, the company still offered skeletal services and staff were asked to remain at home for safety reasons.

Share prices for MTN and Shoprite

Shares in MTN, Nigeria’s second-biggest listed firm, rose 5.03% to N139.80 each, a level last seen in June, reports Reuters. 

Johannesburg-listed Shoprite shares were up 1.8%.

However, several subscribers on the MTN network shared tales of dropped calls, poor connection and overall crappy network services soon after the telecom company embarked on a forced holiday.

Shoprite, the supermarket chain, remains shut however, except for one of its outlets in the upmarket area of Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja.

A peek inside a Shoprite supermarket. Reprisal attacks targeted the retail chain last week (Pulse.ng)

Before its shutdown, MTN had launched a mobile money transfer service tailored for Nigerians without bank accounts.

The telecom firm had said it planned to become a payment services bank once it obtains approval from the central bank.

A strain in diplomatic relations

The violence in South Africa and the reprisal attack that ensued in Nigeria, has strained relations between Africa’s two biggest economies.

Nigeria has recalled its Ambassador to South Africa and South Africa has shut down its embassies in Nigeria, citing security concerns. 

President Muhammadu Buhari and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa met in Japan before latest xenophobic attacks [Twitter/@GovNigeria]

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria dispatched an envoy to President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa in the wake of the latest xenophobic attacks.

Buhari will embark on a state visit to South Africa in October to help salvage what is left of Nigeria’s diplomatic relationship with the former apartheid enclave.

“The special envoy conveyed President Buhari’s concern at recent events in South Africa, in the context of the strong and cordial relations that characterise the interaction between the two countries,” the Nigerian presidency said in a statement.