(Image source- Reuters) (Image source- Reuters)

Nigerian banks have opposed a proposal by Etisalat Nigeria to convert part of a $1.2 billion loan from dollars into naira and want Abu Etisalat and its other shareholders to recapitalise it instead, according to Reuters.

A banker with knowledge of the negotiations told Reuters that the seven-year syndicated loan, on which Etisalat Nigeria missed a payment, has a dollar portion of $235 million which the telecoms operator wants to convert into naira to overcome hard currency shortages on Nigeria's interbank market.

Etisalat owes GT Bank 42 billion naira, Access Bank 40 billion naira and Fidelity Bank 17.5 billion naira.

An earlier report had said that Etisalat group (which generates 3.7 percent of its revenues from the Nigerian business) might sell its stake in Etisalat Nigeria but wants the company's debt restructured before it does so.