Nigerian govt confident about investment despite HSBC, UBS exit

The Nigerian government says it's confident of reaching a settlement with MTN after accusing it of suddenly withdrawing a large amount of foreign capital out of the country.

Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG – The Nigeria Central Bank says it is optimistic about investment in the country despite HSBC and UBS closing their offices in the country.

The two announced their decision on Friday declining to give reasons.

However, this comes after MTN was told to return $8.1 billion dollars to Nigeria with the matter heading to court.

Reports say foreign companies are concerned about the MTN case with the operator told to return $8.1 billion to the country.

The Nigerian government says it's confident of reaching a settlement with MTN after accusing it of suddenly withdrawing a large amount of foreign capital out of the country.

MTN has denied doing anything wrong, saying the money was withdrawn over a number of years.

Economists say investor confidence has fallen after the central bank moved against MTN.

The central bank has admitted that foreign investment fell to $1.2 billion in the first half of the year from $1.7 billion a year earlier and it's concerned about money leaving the country.

Earlier this year, HSBC noted limited economic progress and fiscal deterioration under the current government with elections next year.

It's now closed its offices.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)