- In an apparent move to save its image from possible damage, MTN Group is said to have commenced talks with Nigeria’s Central Bank for early repayment of almost $600 million of debt it owes some Nigerian banks.
- The move by the leading telecom operator was also aimed at reducing further exposure of the naira, which has weakened against the rand and US dollar.
- A report from Bloomberg, quoted the Chief Executive Officer of the Group, Sifiso Dabengwa as saying in an interview that the negotiation with the apex bank was for possible repayment in good time.
“We have already been negotiating with the lenders but the challenge has been getting the central bank to approve that we can accelerate the payment. “It would help a lot in terms of dealing with the currency fluctuations,” said Dabengwa.
- According to Mtn, its profit declined by 11 percent in the last six months, through June due to the weakening naira and other African currencies against the South African rand, in which it reports earnings.
- The report also showed that Nigerian sales decreased 9 percent in the period, compared with a 1.1 percent fall on a constant currencies basis.
- It was also gathered that the MTN executives have already met with President Muhammadu Buhari. Dabengwa, who confirmed the meeting, informed that the conversations were positive, and that the company has no pending regulatory issues in Nigeria, its biggest market with 62.8 million subscribers.
- The report further disclosed that MTN shares fell 0.3 percent to 207.83 rand as of yesterday, in Johannesburg, valuing the company at 384 billion rand.
- Source: Bloomberg