MTN to raise N400bn in Nigeria bond

 

MTN Group Ltd. on Thursday said it plans to raise N400 billion ($1.1 billion) through bond in Nigeria in 2018.

The move, the wireless carrier said, is part of its strategies to fund local investment and replace existing debt in the continent’s most populous country.

MTN, Africa’s largest wireless carrier by sales, plans to sell bonds and take out long-term loans.

MTN’s Chief Financial Officer Ralph Mupita said in an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday that the company wants to raise as much as it can in Nigeria’s local currency, the naira.

“We want to gear up our debt on an operational level away from the holding structure,” the official said.

The company CFO says MTN, based in Johannesburg, plans to shift its focus from dollar-denominated debt to debt in local currencies where it operates.

MTN also recently raised money in local currency for its Ghanaian and Ivory Coast operations, according to Bloomberg data.

Valued at 234 billion rand, the company’s net debt rose to 57 billion rand ($4.5 billion) in 2017 from 52 billion rand the previous year.

The carrier expects to list its Nigerian unit on the Nigerian bourse by the end of 2018.

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