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S&P Downgrades MTN’s Credit Ratings

Global financial ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has lowered the MTN group’s credit ratings, following the downgrade of Nigeria’s sovereign rating last month.

MTN confirmed the ratings downgrade in a statement on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s news service.

On 16 September, S&P lowered its long-term ratings on Nigeria from B+ to B on weak growth dynamics, with a stable outlook.

But MTN says “The sovereign downgrade reflects increased risk for MTN group, as MTN Nigeria is a significant contributor to the group”.

On review of MTN’s ratings, S&P lowered the group’s long-term corporate credit rating to BB+ from BBB- as well as its South Africa national scale rating to zaA+ from zaAA with a stable outlook.

S&P also lowered its issuer rating on the group’s existing senior unsecured debt to BB+ from BBB- with stable outlook. S&P maintains a cap of two notches above the blended sovereign rating of Nigeria and South Africa, which is currently BB-.

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