Nigerian stock exchange officials denied claims MTN was close to launching its long-awaited IPO in the country, stating it had not received an application from the operator or any of its representatives.

The country’s media last week reported MTN Nigeria was ready to IPO after what Business Daily said was a six week delay caused by the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In a statement, the SEC dismissed the claims, adding that because it had not received a formal application from MTN or its advisers, no regulatory review had yet taken place.

“If MTN finally files a formal and complete application with the Commission, it would be treated with the usual diligence and urgency that is applicable to all such filings.”

MTN has been preparing to list a stake in its Nigeria business since it struck an agreement with regulators to do so in 2016. Since then, speculation has been rife on the dates, value and process, but formal details have failed to materialise.

Although not committing to a firm date, on the company’s Q1 financial results call MTN CEO Rob Shuter said its units in Nigeria and Ghana were on track to float by the end of the year. Subsequently its IPO in Ghana opened in late May.