11 Aug

Daily Watch – IHS gets more Etisalat towers, Mortgage company to raise more capital

  • Etisalat Nigeria has completed the transfer of 555 telecom towers to IHS, the second tranche of a sale and leaseback deal announced last year. Following the deal, IHS, the biggest tower company in Africa, will own and manage more than 15,500 of the installations in Nigeria and more than 23,100 in Africa as a whole. Mobile phone operators have been selling or leasing towers to specialist companies like IHS, to reduce building and maintenance, associated with security costs and electricity shortages, as revenue per user falls. India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd in November said it would sell more than 4,800 mobile phone masts in Nigeria to American Tower Corp for $1.05 billion, as part of its plan to cut costs and pare debt.
  • The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) will seek approval from members by month-end to raise additional equity capital of N28.5 billion through a shelf registration programme. Mortgage lending is still a small portion of the Nigeria’s property market. There are about 20,000 mortgages open in Nigeria, none of which can be traded because of a lack of liquidity, and none extends beyond 10 years. Nigeria put $300 million of World Bank aid money into a mortgage-backed guarantee last year in a bid to boost lending through the creation of a secondary housing market, which is virtually non-existent in Africa’s biggest economy.
  • Skye Bank is in talks to raise N30 billion from existing and new investors before the end of the year to bolster its capital base, its chief executive said on Monday. Timothy Oguntayo told an investors’ call that the bank had identified some shareholders who were willing to support the cash call, part of which is meant to help the bank prepare as the country adopts stricter international requirements. Skye Bank also said it was weighing a decision to adopt a holding company structure and retain its subsidiaries or divest them. It expected to complete the process by the second quarter of next year.
  • With $49 billion in domestic debt and $10.8 billion in external debts, Nigeria is now committing 23 percent of fiscal revenue to debt service, which is set to exceed the 25 percent benchmark by year-end.