Nigeria continues to squeeze MTN
Publish date: 08 October 2018
Issue Number: 794
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
MTN is facing mounting pressure to transfer $8.1bn to Nigeria after the country’s central bank argued the wireless carrier should pay interest on the disputed repatriation of dividends until it surrenders the full amount. Its stock dropped the most in a month on Friday. The Central Bank of Nigeria late last month argued in documents filed with the Federal High Court in Lagos that the telecoms company should pay 15% annualised interest until the courts rule on the conflict. A report on the Fin24 site notes that it also argued that MTN shouldn’t be given an injunction that would let it wait for a ruling before transferring the amount. The court filings suggest the regulator is not prepared to back down over its allegations that MTN and four of its banks – Standard Chartered, Citigroup, Stanbic IBTC and Diamond Bank – illegally repatriated the money from Nigeria. MTN sought an injunction in early September to buy itself time and fight the claim in its biggest market, which wiped as much as 36% off its market value.