Standard Bank shares fall as MTN Nigeria faces illegal transfer claims

Shares in Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] were down by 2% in the early afternoon on Thursday. 

In an update to shareholders, the bank said its Nigerian banking subsidiary, Stanbic IBTC Bank, had been advised by the Central Bank of Nigeria that it will be subject to a penalty of R75m for "violations of the laws and regulations of Nigeria pertaining to foreign exchange  transactions in that country".

The penalties relate to MTN Nigeria. 

The Central Bank of Nigeria alleges that the mobile phone company was involved in illegally transferring funds out of the country. It has ordered MTN and four banks - including Stanbic IBTC Bank - to return an amount of $8.1bn in total. 

MTN has denied doing anything wrong. 

“MTN Nigeria strongly refutes these allegations and claims," it said in a statement. 

According to Standard Bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria said it requires the refund of $2.632bn (about 38bn) in funds repatriated by Stanbic IBTC Bank on MTN's behalf due to "illegally issued" certificates of capital importation.

The bank has denied the charges. 

"Stanbic IBTC Bank was not a beneficiary of any of the remittances made on behalf of clients and denies any imputation of malfeasance," read the statement, adding that it intends to "engage with the CBN in relation to the issues it has raised".

Standard Bank shares were trading at R185.52 a share at 13:44 on Thursday on the JSE, down 2.12% on the day. 

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