Nigeria could soon outrank South Africa as Africa's biggest economy, but about 61% of Nigerians still live on less than $1 per day.
MTN's full-year profit has risen 27% after the rand weakened and subscribers increased.
A weak rand and lower payments to operators, as a result of lower termination rates, has seen the fixed-line operator gain.
MTN Group's share price has fallen despite its swift replacement of chief financial officer Nazir Patel with Brett Goschen.
The JSE continues to break records despite South Africa's economic woes and gloomy political headlines ahead of the ANC national conference.
Allegations of corruption and political machinations involving the MTN Group and the government of Iran have resurfaced - this time in US politics.
Former MTN boss Phuthuma Nhleko has distanced himself from a dodgy mobile operating license in Iran that included bribes, weapons and influence.
A lawsuit filed by Turkcell over a licence in Iran has implicated MTN executives and state officials in an explosive bribery and weapons scandal.
MTN Group, Africa's largest telecom group, said on Wednesday it has topped 150-million subscribers across 21 countries.
The MTN Group's empowerment transaction has raised R2,78-billion and had more applications than it had shares available.
India's Bharti Airtel, which has restarted merger talks with MTN Group, said on Tuesday it does not expect funding requirements to be onerous.
MTN Group said on Friday it was unable to reach a deal with India's Reliance Communications and the companies mutually decided to end talks.
Merger talks between India's biggest cellphone services firm, Bharti Airtel, and South Africa's flagship MTN Group could wind up this weekend, a report said on Saturday. A merged group would create the world's sixth-largest mobile company with a network of 130-million subscribers.
South African stocks were lower at midday on Tuesday, pressured by below-forecast gross domestic product (GDP) data, which showed that the quarterly economic growth rate slowed to 2,1%, traders said. At 12.02pm, the all-share index was down 0,71%. Resources fell 1,01%, while the gold- and platinum-mining indices were off 0,42% and 0,72% respectively.
South African stocks were slightly higher at noon on Monday with MTN in the spotlight on fresh merger talks with another Indian firm, but overall the session was muted due to public holidays in the United States and the United Kingdom. At 11.59am, the all-share index was up 0,30%, thanks to a 1,03% rise in resources.
The JSE hit a fresh record high on Thursday, buoyed by miners on firm commodity prices and a weaker rand, but overall the mood was dampened by global inflation worries due to the rising oil price. At noon, the JSE's all-share index was up 0,98% at 33 230,590 after earlier touching a fresh all-time high of 33 309,820.
South African cellular giant MTN could pick up to a 74% stake in India's Reliance Communications in a share-swap deal being discussed between the companies, an official said on Friday. "The stock swap is an option being considered at the moment," a Reliance official said on condition of anonymity.
Reliance Communications, India's number two mobile operator, has entered into exclusive negotiations for a tie-up with the MTN Group, knocking its shares down 4%. Reliance was quick to fill a void left after its bigger domestic rival, Bharti Airtel, pulled out of talks at the weekend aimed at taking control of MTN.
A Bharti Airtel official on Thursday said there were no new developments in its talks with South African telecoms operator MTN Group that could create the world's sixth-largest mobile operator. Bharti said on May 5 it was in exploratory talks with MTN, and on May 13 said it had not made any bid for the South African firm.