MTN reaches settlement over Nigeria $8bn row

MTN is Africa's largest mobile phone company pic: GETTY IMAGES

MTN is Africa’s largest mobile phone company pic: GETTY IMAGES[/caption]

Reuters and Bloomberg news agencies have reported that mobile phone company MTN settled its $8bn (£6bn) “illegal repatriation” case with the Nigerian government for $53m – remarkably less than the initial fine.

However, the damage to both MTN and Nigeria will linger.

Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s finance minister, said the entire saga was extremely bad for Nigeria which has been trying to reassure other investors in the country.

MTN shares are still trading 20% below what they were in late August and their disputes are not over.

Nigeria and MTN will return to court in early February to over a separate claim that the phone company owes $2bn in back taxes.

Nigeria is MTN’s largest market – and the South African phone company is Nigeria’s largest mobile phone operator, with more than 50 million customers.

It is exposed to risks that face Africa’s largest economy, such as weak economic growth, falling oil prices and the upcoming presidential elections in February.

Source: BBC]]>

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