Amadeusz Juskowiak

Japanese banks cool on nigerian debt talks

Japanese banks are expected to give Nigerian debt negotiators a cool response when they arrive here tomorrow for talks banking sources said

Were not very enthusiastic about Nigerias debt rescheduling said a senior official at a leading Japanese bank

A team of Nigerian officials will meet with Japanese creditor banks here later this week to seek Japanese support for a proposed refinancing of part of Nigerias 19 billion dlr foreign debt bankers said

The senior bank official said a majority of Japanese bank creditors are unwilling to provide any new credits to Nigeria although about 80 pct have reluctantly agreed to accept rescheduling of part of their existing loans

The problem is Nigeria has so far neglected us Japanese creditors and we have yet to receive a clearcut picture of the nations debt situation said another Japanese bank official

He said Japanese bankers were unaware of the exact extent of Western commercial bank exposure to Nigeria and were uncertain about the proposed refinancing package details

Some 21 Japanese banks have loans outstanding to Nigeria representing about four pct of the credit extended by Western commercial institutions banking sources said

They said Nigeria would probably request about 320 mln dlrs in fresh private bank money and rescheduling of some 14 to 15 billion dlrs in existing loans due in 1986 and 1987 Japanese banks want Nigeria to make clear its debt repayment scheme as well as its economic reconstruction plans during the twoday meeting here the sources added

Otherwise our response will be very negative the senior official said

Banking sources said some 80 pct of international creditor banks involved have responded positively to the Nigerian debt proposal

Bank of Japan officials said they hope Japanese commercial banks will help Nigeria overcome its debt problems

Barclays Bank plc BCSL has the most exposure to Nigerias debt and is chairing a bank steering committee looking at the problem the banking sources said BankAmerica Corp BACN is coordinating private bank creditors in the Far East and representing them on the committee they added