Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) is said to be exposed to Etisalat Nigeria to the tune of N42 billion ($138 million) via a secured loan.
The Chief Executive Officer, GTBank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, who disclosed this, said the debt would be restructured.
In addition, Agbaje on Wednesday said GTBank was not looking to refinance its Eurobond due next year because it does not see opportunities to grow its dollar loan book. The GTBank boss said the bank expected naira loans to grow 10 percent this year, down from 15.8 percent last year, largely due to currency devaluation.
He said the bank expected a N168 billion pre-tax profit for 2017, up from N165 billion the previous year.
The Nigerian affiliate of Abu Dhabi-listed telecoms company, Etisalat is currently in talks with 13 Nigerian banks to renegotiate the terms of a $1.2 billion loan it took out four years ago after missing a payment. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have since waded into the matter. At the current official rate, the loan without interest stands at N377 billion.
The Vice President for Regulatory Affairs at Etisalat Nigeria, Ibrahim Dikko had explained that the company missed payments due to the economic downturn in Nigeria, a currency devaluation and dollar shortages on the country’s interbank market.
Emirates Telecommunications Group (Etisalat) owns a 40 percent stake in its Nigerian affiliate, which accounted for around 3.7 per cent of the group’s revenue in 2013. Etisalat Nigeria signed a $1.2 billion medium-term facility with 13 Nigerian banks in 2013, which it used to refinance an existing $650 million loan and fund a modernisation of its network.
Dikko said the business performed well last year and it was still in profit at the level of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, while loan repayments had been up to date “until recently.”