Nigeria

Nigeria’s federal government has set the terms for the conversion of its stock of central bank overdrafts into long-term notes in a bid to create transparency around its dependence on that source of funding, Bloomberg News reported. The 10 trillion naira ($25.6 billion) debt will be exchanged for 30-year notes issued to the central bank, Patience Oniha, head of the Debt Management Office said by email. The agreement on timing for the conversion needs to be finalized to get the required approval from the cabinet, at the earliest in the second quarter, Oniha said.
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FG Plans Debt Restructuring

Faced with mounting debt servicing obligations, the federal government is planning to push for debt restructuring, Vanguard Media Limited reported. The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who gave the indication while featuring on a Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, programme, yesterday, said the current debt servicing obligations were taking too much of the nation’s resources, especially at a time of low revenue generation.

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Nigeria has passed a law that will create a new resolution fund to support failing or distressed lenders and will get commercial banks to help pay for it, Reuters reported. The Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act 2020 was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, and is in response to developments in the financial sector over the past 20 years. Under the new law, the central bank will invest 10 billion naira ($26.3 million) while the Nigerian deposit insurer NDIC will contribute 4 billion naira.

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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has signed a law to create a credit tribunal that will improve loan recovery and strengthen the regulatory framework for managing failing or distressed lenders, the presidency said on Friday, Reuters reported. The aim of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act 2020 is to update existing laws and it comes in response to developments in the financial sector over the past 20 years, spokesman Garba Shehu said.

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A World Bank-backed power plant that provides a tenth of Nigeria’s electricity is at risk of a default on its loan payments because of a severe dollar shortage in the continent’s biggest economy, according to three people briefed on the matter, the Financial Times reported. The $900m Azura-Edo Independent Power Plant in Edo state has been unable to source dollars through the Central Bank of Nigeria, which has restricted access to the greenback in an effort to support the local naira currency, according to an industry executive and a financier briefed on the matter.

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Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production is in debt restructuring talks with its lenders, group managing director Victor Okoronkwo tells The Africa Report. All parameters of the company’s debt are under consideration as part of the talks, which began shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic, Okoronkwo said, The Africa Report reported.

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Nigerian banks are restructuring 41% of loans in the country after the central bank placed a moratorium on interest charges and principal debt repayments to cushion the blow of lower oil prices and fallout from the coronavirus, Bloomberg News reported. Loans worth 7.8 trillion naira ($20 billion) to 35,640 customers are being reorganized out of 18.9 trillion naira in credit across the industry, Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele said on Monday. Twenty-two of the nation’s lenders are involved in the transactions, he said.

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Holders of Zambia’s Eurobonds are squaring up for what is likely to be a complex and lengthy debt-restructuring process. A group of lenders owning about a third of the nation’s dollar bonds, and in contact with another third, have formed a committee to negotiate with the government, Bloomberg News reported. Newstate Partners LLP will advise the creditors, who didn’t disclose who they were. Lazard Ltd. is representing Zambia. Zambia is looking to overhaul as much as $11 billion in foreign debt as part of efforts to unlock emergency funding from the International Monetary Fund.

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FCMB Group Plc plans to restructure half of its loans after plunging oil prices, the coronavirus lockdown and a naira devaluation hindered the ability of the Nigerian bank’s clients to repay their debt, Bloomberg News reported. Credit facilities across industries ranging from oil and gas to small- and medium-sized enterprises will be reorganized, the Lagos-based lender said in a presentation on Tuesday. New terms will include a six-to 12-month moratorium on principal debt repayments and an extension on loan maturities of up to two years.

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Nigeria’s central bank took 1.47 trillion naira ($3.8 billion) from lenders as additional cash reserves for failing to meet regulatory targets, according to people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg News reported. The accounts of almost 30 commercial lenders held with the central bank were debited by the regulator for missing thresholds on cash-reserve and loan-to-deposit ratios, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential. The lenders are appealing the move, they said.

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