Mobile operator Etisalat Nigeria had repaid nearly half of the USD1.2 billion loan it owed to a consortium of local banks before it defaulted on the facility agreement, Ibrahim Dikko, Vice President for Regulatory Affairs, told Reuters. Nigeria’s fourth largest cellco repaid around USD500 million of the loan before missing a payment in February due to currency devaluation, leaving total amounts of USD227 million and NGN113 billion (USD351 million) outstanding, Dikko said. Talks between Etisalat Nigeria and lenders to restructure the loan agreed in 2013 have failed to produce a deal, forcing the banks to step in this month by ordering Etisalat Group to transfer its entire 45% stake to United Capital Trustees, the security trustee of the firm’s lenders, by 23 June.
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