Ecobank Not Under Investigation In Nigeria, Say Nedbank
After heavy fines on the telecom firm, MTN Nigeria, you can understand how rumours of investigation or fine sends jitters down the spines of investors in Nigeria.
There had been reports that African lender, Ecobank is under investigation in Nigeria by Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, FRCN, but it appears there is no truth to the report at all, Reuters reports.
The chief operating officer of South Africa’s Nedbank, which owns 21% of the Togo-based lender, confirmed on Friday that there is no veracity to the report.
It had become imperative for the investor to come forth with a disclaimer because the newspaper report that Ecobank was subject to an investigation by the Nigerian accountancy regulator had already driven down Nedbank’s share price by more than 4%.
At the time of the report last month, both Ecobank and Nedbank said they had not been notified of any inquiry.
On Friday Nedbank COO, Mfundo Nkuhlu said Ecobank’s discussions with the regulator since then suggested there is no investigation.
“[Ecobank Transnational Incorporated] management have advised, based on their interaction with the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, there is no investigation under way into the previous reporting of ETI’s annual financial statements,” he said in an emailed statement.
The newspaper report said the investigation related to allegations that Ecobank had overstated its balance sheet and income statement by applying incorrect exchange rates.
Reuters report that FRC could not be reached by telephone for comments but it quotes a representative as previously saying that the council does not discuss its investigations.
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