Leading Teleco, MTN Nigeria, has signed a $656 million loan agreement with a consortium of seven local banks, with Citibank acting as co-ordinator and Quantum Zenith, as facility agent.
The facility was signed Lagos on Friday by the Chief Executive Officer of MTN, Mr Ferdi Moolman, at the law offices of Aluko & Oyebode.
The eighth syndicated loan agreement by MTN in Nigeria since its inception 18 years ago, is structured with a two-year moratorium and a repayment plan of seven years, and was denominated in Naira.
The -banks of the facility consortium are Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Fidelity Bank, First City Monument Bank, United Bank for Africa and First Bank.
Moolman said the facility would enable MTN to fund its evolving business opportunities while assisting with capital expenditure and working capital, to deliver enhanced customer service.
He said that the new facility followed the successful establishment of a similar seven-year $656 million facility by the company in 2018, and formed part of the company’s wider programme to raise domestic debt.
“I am happy at the completion of the agreement; it signposts MTN’s commitment to, and confidence in Nigeria, and the strength of the strategic collaboration between MTN Nigeria and local financial institutions.
This will help to deepen and broaden the provision of ICT services in Nigeria.
This facility expands our existing successful domestic debt programme which we are using to fund increased network capacity, and the expansion of Voice and Data services on our network to customers in new areas.
We have enjoyed remarkable funding support from Nigeria’s financial institutions since our first facility in 2003 and this has been critical to the development of one of the largest telecoms network in Africa, with over 60 million subscribers.
I am delighted that, so soon after our successful listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, we are able to compliment it with such an important addition to our portfolio of debt,” he said.
Moolman lauded the participating financial institutions for staying committed to MTN, adding that the loan syndication showcased the strength of Nigerian financial institutions and their confidence in MTN’s vision “and both parties’ ability to stimulate significant economic growth’’.
Meanwhile, the firm just listed in Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) has secured a boost as its share price soared by 21 per cent in two days, closing at N108.90 on Friday.
The telecommunications giant, which is the only one listed in the sector by the Nigerian Stock Exchange gained the maximum 10 per cent each on the two days of trading. It was initially listed at N90 on Thursday.
Traders said the stock was in hot demand, with 48,358, 699 units, valued at N5,528,049,931 exchanging hands on Friday. On Thursday 5.5million shares of the company were sold for N545.6 million.
The listing of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc 20.35 billion shares lifted the market capitalisation by N1.83 trillion on Thursday.
The stocks have now passed the N2 trillion mark. The interest in the stock was not dampened, even with the news that the company had signed a N200 billion loan agreement with a consortium of banks, for a seven year tenor.
Citibank will act as coordinator of the loan and Quantum Zenith will act as Facility Agent in the loan provided by seven Nigerian banks.
Moolman said the Medium Term Facility would enable MTN to fund its evolving business opportunities while assisting with capital expenditure and working capital to deliver enhanced customer service.
It followed the successful establishment of a similar 7-year N200 billion facility by MTN in 2018 and formed part of the company’s wider programme to raise domestic debt, he said.
Other stocks that gained on Friday were Betaglass, Cutix, Oando, Transcorp and Access Bank. None had the leap of MTN.
Betaglass came second on the gainers’ table with a gain of 75k to close at N69.70, while Oando added 30k to close at N4.80 per share.
Union Bank of Nigeria rose by 15k to close at N7, while Cutix also grew by 15k to close at N1.80 per share.
Conversely, Mobil recorded the highest loss, dropping by N4 to close at N170 per share.
Forte Oil trailed with a loss of N3.15 to close at N28.35, while Guaranty Trust Bank dipped 40k to close at N30.60 per share.
Flour Mills dropped 15k to close at N15.70, while FCMB Group was also down by 15k to close at N1.55 per share.
In spite of the growth posted by market indices, the volume of shares traded closed lower as investors bought and sold 267.84 million shares worth N7.52 billion in 3,684 deals.
This was against 312.36 million shares valued at N2.81 billion exchanged in 3,933 deals on Thursday.
Transnational Corporation of Nigeria was the most active stock during the day, exchanging 58.59 million share worth N72.25 million.
MTN Nigeria followed with an account of 48.36 million shares valued at N5.53 billion, while Access Bank sold 27.42 million shares worth N178.47 million.
United Bank for Africa exchanged 19.39 million shares valued at N117.65 million, while Zenith Bank accounted for17.592million shares worth N344.38 million.
Market capitalisation of the exchange inched N192 billion or 1.53 per cent to close at N12.718 trillion against N12.526 trillion achieved on Thursday.
Also, the All-Share Index which opened at 28,438.19 increased by 433.74 points or 1.53 per cent to close at 28,871.93.