MTN: 10,530 0 (0.00%)
Nigeria central bank orders MTN, banks to bring back $8.1 bln sent abroad
(Adds comment from central bank, background)
By Camillus Eboh and Chijioke Ohuocha
ABUJA, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Nigeria's central bank said on
Wednesday it had ordered South African telecoms firm MTN and
four banks to bring $8.134 billion back into the country that
MTN had illegally sent abroad in breach of foreign exchange
The Central Bank of Nigeria also fined the banks, it said on
its official Twitter account.
Standard Chartered PLC was fined 2.4 billion naira
($7.86 million), Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC 1.8 billion
naira, Citibank 1.2 billion naira and Diamond Bank PLC
250 million naira.
The Nigerian telecommunications regulator, Citibank,
Standard Chartered and Diamond Bank were not immediately
available for comment. A spokesman for MTN declined to comment,
while a Stanbic IBTC spokesman said a statement would be issued
The central bank said in a statement that MTN had not
obtained approval before transfering the funds and the banks had
also breached foreign exchange rules by failing to verify that
the telecoms firm had met all the requirements.
Last November, Nigeria's Senate approved a report largely
exonerating MTN, following an investigation after the business
was accused of illegally repatriating $14 billion to its parent
At the time, the Senate also asked Nigeria's central bank to
sanction Stanbic IBTC "for improper documentations in respect of
capital repatriation and loan repayments" on behalf of MTN.
Parliament's upper house agreed in 2016 to investigate
whether Africa's biggest telecoms firm unlawfully repatriated
$13.92 billion from Nigeria, its most lucrative market which
generates a third of its revenue, between 2006 and 2016.
Africa's biggest telecoms firm was fined $5.2 billion in
2015 by the Nigerian government for failing to disconnect
unregistered SIM cards on its network. The fine was later
reduced to $1.7 billion with an option to list its shares on the
Nigerian Stock Exchange.
The company plans to launch the IPO, which has since been
delayed due to market conditions, this year.
(Reporting by Camillus Eboh and Chijioke Ohuocha)
First Published: 2018-08-29 19:20:31
Updated 2018-08-29 21:01:14
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