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MTN is said to be nearing Nigeria deal over $8.1bn claim

A settlement is expected by Monday and could come as early as Friday.
MTN Group is close to securing a deal with Nigeria’s central bank over an order to repay $8.1 billion it is alleged to have illegally taken out of the country, according to a person familiar with the matter.

A settlement is expected by Monday and could come as early as Friday, said the person, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorised to comment publicly. The Central Bank of Nigeria will on Friday meet the four banks accused of facilitating the transfers, Standard Chartered, Citigroup, Stanbic IBTC and Diamond Bank and that Lagos meeting could end the saga, the person said.

The shares rose 2.2% to R88.83  in early trade in Johannesburg on Friday, valuing Africa’s largest wireless carrier by subscribers at R167 billion. The stock has declined 17% since since Nigerian authorities said in late August that MTN needed to repay the cash. The four banks were fined a combined $16 million.

MTN, Citibank, Standard Chartered and Stanbic IBTC declined to comment. A spokesman for Nigeria’s central bank and representatives from Diamond Bank didn’t answer calls seeking confirmation after regular business hours.

An end to the dispute would come as a relief for MTN, Africa’s largest wireless carrier by subscribers. The Johannesburg-based company has lost almost a fifth of its market value since Nigerian authorities said in late August that it needed to repay the $8.1 billion. MTN and the four banks, which have been fined $16 million between them, deny any wrongdoing.

If a deal is reached, MTN will probably dismiss its court case against the central bank and Nigeria’s attorney general, which it brought to stop the transfer order, according to the person. However, the company is also facing a claim that it owes $2 billion in back taxes in Nigeria, its biggest market.

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P

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No more deals. How did the last one work out for you? No more deals, just go to court and if they ‘bribe’ and or ‘coerce’ judges into some fabricated outcome, go to the International Courts. Don’t make any more ‘back room’ deals with an economic parasitical political class that is the ruling elite in Nigeria.

If MTN dares to accept any form of settlement with the central bank or the tax-man of Nigeria, after vehemently claiming there was no wrongdoing whatsoever by MTN on these matters, they will see shareholders dumping them in droves.

How scaly are these Nigerians, though.

I wouldn’t do business in Nigeria if you paid me.

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