Chief Correspondent; Nigeria
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Nov 8, 2010

Nigerian “bad bank” set to absorb $15 bln bad loans

LAGOS, Nov 8 (Reuters) – A Nigerian “bad bank” set up to
restore the health of the banking system after a sector-wide
bailout last year said on Monday it aimed to absorb 2.2
trillion naira ($15 billion) of bad loans by the end of
December.

The Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), run by a
former Wall Street banker, was established to soak up bad bank
loans, recapitalise nine institutions rescued last year, and
restore lending in sub-Saharan Africa’s second-biggest
economy.

Nov 8, 2010

Gunmen kidnap five from Afren oil rig in Nigeria

LAGOS, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Gunmen in Nigeria have attacked an
offshore oil rig operated by exploration firm Afren (AFRE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz),
kidnapping five crew members including foreigners and injuring
two others, the company said on Monday.

Nigeria’s main militant group, the Movement for the
Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), made no immediate claim
of responsibility but threatened to carry out new attacks on oil
infrastructure in Africa’s biggest oil and gas industry.

Nov 4, 2010

Backers of $2.5 billion Nigeria Nitel bid get “cold feet”

LAGOS (Reuters) – A Nigerian firm in a $2.5 billion bid for former state telecoms monopoly Nitel said on Thursday some of its backers had “cold feet” and asked for an extension to a payment deadline, again throwing the sale into doubt.

GiCell, the Nigerian firm involved in the preferred bid for Nitel, said it had requested a 30-day extension to a deadline for a 30 percent bid security, a $750 million payment due at the close of business on Thursday.

Nov 3, 2010

Nigerian Senate approves board of state “bad bank”

ABUJA/LAGOS, Nov 3 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s Senate on Wednesday
approved a former Goldman Sachs banker to run a state-owned “bad
bank”, paving the way for it to begin absorbing non-performing
loans from lenders rescued in last year’s $4 billion bailout.

The Senate confirmed former Wall Street investment banker
Mustafa Chike-Obi as chief executive of the Asset Management
Company of Nigeria (AMCON) and also approved nine other board
members nominated in September by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Nov 2, 2010

Nigerian SEC takes ex-Union Bank execs to court

LAGOS, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) said on Tuesday it was taking the ex-head of
Union Bank and other directors to court over an alleged share
price manipulation scheme during a 2007 stock market rally.

The SEC said joint investigations with the central bank
found Union Bank (UBN.LG: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) had used 30.5 billion naira ($200 mln)
in credit facilities from two foreign banks to buy up its own
shares via local stockbroker Falcon Securities in November 2007.

Nov 1, 2010

Key political risks to watch in Nigeria

LAGOS, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Nigeria looks likely to push back
elections to April, giving President Goodluck Jonathan’s rivals
more time to organise themselves for what is set to be the most
fiercely contested race since the end of military rule.

The ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which has been
in charge since the army left power in 1999, has seen its
candidate comfortably win every presidential election over the
past decade. But this time, it is divided over its nominee.

Oct 30, 2010

Weapons seized in Nigeria came from Iran: shipping company

LAGOS (Reuters) – Crates of weapons including rocket launchers and mortars seized in Nigeria this week were loaded in Iran by a local trader, the company which shipped the containers said on Saturday.

French-based shipping group CMA CGM said it had been the victim of a false cargo declaration and that the weapons and ammunitions were in sealed containers which had been declared as “packages of glass wool and pallets of stone.”

Oct 30, 2010

Weapons seized in Nigeria came from Iran

LAGOS (Reuters) – Crates of weapons including rocket launchers and mortars seized in Nigeria this week were loaded in Iran by a local trader, the company which shipped the containers said on Saturday.

French-based shipping group CMA CGM said it had been the victim of a false cargo declaration and that the weapons and ammunitions were in sealed containers which had been declared as “packages of glass wool and pallets of stone.”

Oct 28, 2010

Nigeria says illegal arms ship sailed from India

LAGOS, Oct 28 (Reuters) – An illegal shipment of rocket
launchers and heavy mortars intercepted in Nigeria first arrived
in the country in July on a ship which sailed from India, the
Nigerian customs service said on Thursday.

Nigeria’s secret service intercepted 13 containers in the
port of Lagos this week, some of which were found to contain
rocket launchers, grenades, explosives and ammunition.
[ID:nLDE69P29N]

Oct 22, 2010

Fitch revises Nigeria’s credit outlook to negative

NEW YORK/LAGOS, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Fitch Ratings on Friday
lowered its sovereign credit outlook on Nigeria to negative from
stable, citing the depletion of its windfall oil savings and
heightened political uncertainty ahead of elections next year.

Nigeria’s rating of BB-minus, three notches below investment
grade, was affirmed, Fitch said in a statement.

    • About Nick

      "Based in Lagos since early 2008, responsible for coverage of Africa's most populous nation. Previously based in Senegal for four years, covering West and Central Africa, and before that in Germany and Britain."
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