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AFRICA FASHION WEEK NIGERIA

Thursday, May 10, 2018

MTN sets to Borrow $1bn in Nigeria

MTN Group plans to borrow as much as 400-billion naira ($1.1bn) in Nigeria this year as Africa’s largest wireless carrier by sales seeks to fund local investment and replace existing debt in the continent’s most populous country.


MTN plans to sell bonds and take out long-term loans
as Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, recovers from a 2016 economic contraction. The carrier expects to list its Nigerian unit on the Lagos stock exchange by the end of 2018. Nigeria’s securities regulator was preparing for record bond issuance from companies seeking to benefit from lower interest rates and an economy on the mend, it said this week.

"We want to gear up our debt on an operational level away from the holding structure," chief financial officer Ralph Mupita said in an interview. "The debt must be where the ebitda [earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation] is and we want to raise as much as possible in local currency."

MTN’s net debt rose to R57bn in 2017 from R52bn the previous year. The company planned to shift its focus from dollar-denominated debt to debt in local currencies where it operated, said Mupita. MTN also recently raised money in local currency for its Ghanaian and Ivory Coast operations, according to Bloomberg data.

MTN shares declined 0.6% Wednesday, on a day that US President Donald Trump reinstated economic sanctions on Iran, the company’s second-biggest market. The carrier is valued at R234bn.

  • Bloomberg

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