MTN Nigeria battle could impact SA's financial stability

Billions of dollars in fines owed by South African companies MTN and Standard Bank to Nigerian regulators could increase the risk to SA's financial system. This is according the South African Reserve Bank's (SARB's) latest financial stability review, released yesterday.

Nigeria's central bank in August demanded MTN repatriate $8.1 billion (R11 billion) to Nigeria, which the bank said the company had sent abroad in breach of foreign exchange regulations.

The central bank alleged MTN used improperly issued certificates to transfer funds out of Nigeria, after the telecoms giant converted shareholder loans in its Nigerian unit to preference shares in 2007. MTN denies the allegations.

The Nigerian attorney general has also demanded $2 billion (R28 billion) in taxes relating to the importation of foreign equipment and payments to foreign suppliers since 2008. 

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