Nigeria’s Access Bank said on Wednesday it had booked a N4 billion ($13 million) impairment on its loan extended to troubled telecoms firm 9mobile, formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria.
The bank’s Chief Executive, Herbert Wigwe, said the bank had a direct exposure of N11 billion to 9mobile, as well as an exposure of N35-39 billion to the telecoms firm’s suppliers.
He told an analysts’ call in Lagos that the bank hoped to recover the debt once 9mobile was sold to new investors.
Nigerian banks have agreed an extension to a $1.2 billion loan made to 9mobile, pending the mobile operator finding new investors. However, some lenders outside the syndicated facility are making provisions.
“We have downgraded the risk of Etisalat and have taken increased collective impairments,” he said.
Access Bank said its non-performing loans rose to 2.5 percent by the half-year from 2.1 percent as at December, though it posted an 18.4 percent rise in half-year pretax profit to N52.08 billion last week.