After GTB Comes Clean On Etisalat, Who Is Next?

Nairametrics| At this rate, Etisalat Nigeria may turn out to be the proverbial bull in the china shop for Nigerian banks. In addition to oil and gas, and power sector loans. The telecommunications firm, is owing GT bank N42 billion naira. This is in addition to the N40 billion naira, Access bank MD, Hebert Wigwe in a recent investor call stated is due from the firm. At this stage, it behooves on Etisalat Nigeria and in the spirit of proper corporate governance, to state in Naira terms, exactly how much it owes Nigerian banks and its strategy to repay them.

Though the MD of GT bank, Segun Agbaje has said the loan will be restructured, this is equivalent to kicking the can down the road. The devaluation of the Naira, means the company will need to raise twice the amount in Naira it was to originally pay back. Impairment provisions for GT Bank rose from N12.4 billion in 2015 to N65.2 billion in 2016. Possibly due to the economic slow down and devaluation which have hit businesses hard.

While the loan is smaller in size compared to GT’s loan book of N1.5 trillion as at December 2016, it may be significant for other banks involved in the syndication deal. None of the banks have stated if they will take a haircut on the existing loan or accept Naira in lieu of dollars.

GT Bank’s retained earnings as at December 2016 were N90.2 billion. Profit for the year ended December 2016 came to N132 billion, on the back of foreign exchange revaluation gains of over N80 billion. GT shares closed at N25.35 in today’s trading session on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Up 2.63%, year to date.

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