NIGERIA: Fitch Affirms Stanbic IBTC’s ‘AAA(nga)’ Rating

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Fitch Ratings has affirmed Stanbic IBTC Holding Company Plc's national long-term rating at 'AAA(nga)' and national short-term rating at 'F1+(nga)'.

The affirmation, according to a statement, followed the global rating agency’s rating action on South African banks on 17 June 2014, where the agency revised the Outlook on Standard Bank Group Limited's long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to negative from stable and affirmed the rating at 'BBB'.

 Standard Bank is Stanbic IBTC’s parent company, with a 53.2 per cent ownership.

 It explained that Stanbic IBTC’s ratings were based on parent support.
“Nigeria is an important market for Standard Bank Group and Fitch views Stabic IBTC as a strategically important subsidiary, underpinned by high integration with the parent group.

 “Stanbic IBTC’s ratings are sensitive to Fitch assessment of the willingness or ability of Standard Bank Group to provide support to Stanbic IBTC,” it explained.

 At the current level, Fitch noted that the ratings could withstand a downgrade of up to three notches of Standard Bank Group's 'BBB' IDR as Nigeria's country ceiling of 'BB-' is currently four notches lower.

 Group Holds Investors’ Forum on NITEL/MTEL

 In view of the move by the federal government to privatise the Nigerian Telecommunications Plc (NITEL) and its subsidiary, the Nigerian Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTEL), the Special Protective Services (SPS) has disclosed plans to organise an Investors’ forum in London on Monday.

 The event would be organised in partnership with Fosad Consulting Limited, the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) and the liquidator of NITEL/MTEL.

 A statement from the organisers explained that the event would be an opportunity for delegates to meet and hear from the NITEL/MTEL’s key technical team.

Furthermore, it stated that expert to speak at the forum would include senior policy makers, leading telecoms investors and NITEL/MTEL’s hands-on professionals.

 They are expected to provide participants with insight into the opportunities and benefits to be accrued from investing in the federal government’s assets.

 The federal government through the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) recently approved the privatisation of NITEL and MTEL through a guided liquidation strategy.

 The government had opted to wind up both institutions and sell-off the companies’ assets to would-be investors due to the waning activities of the telecommunications giants.

As a result of this, the federal government is seeking buyers for the assets of the distressed companies in what it called “guided liquidation”.

 The liquidator, Otunba Olutola O. Senbore, in conjunction with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) recently requested for Expression of Interest (EOIs) from interested and capable investors to be prequalified to bid and purchase the business undertakings and the assets of NITEL and MTEL as single companies or joint ventures.

 The liquidator, in an advertorial had said bidders to be considered must possess a minimum of five years of telecoms experience and have a net worth of at least $200 million. They are also expected to submit the bids not later than 1600 GMT on 30 June 2014.

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