HSBC and UBS have closed their offices in Nigeria, the country’s central bank a report said on Friday as it revealed foreign investment had fallen sharply from a year ago.
The bank said foreign direct investment in Nigeria fell to 379.84 billion naira ($1.2 billion) in the first half of the year from 532.63 billion naira ($1.7 billion) a year earlier.
It did not given reasons for the bank closures.
HSBC was not available to comment and UBS declined to comment.
The central bank said the outlook for the Nigerian economy in the second half was “optimistic” given higher oil prices and production but rising foreign debt and uncertainty surrounding the 2019 presidential election was a drawback.
Investor confidence in the West African country has been shaken since the central bank in August ordered MTN to bring back $8.1 billion to the country, part of profits which the South African telecoms firm sent abroad.
In his recent tweet, Nigeria former Vice President and Presidential cadidate for 2019, Atiku Abubarka condemned the move saying that it is a sad day for the country when such entities pack up.
“FDI is a key component to economic growth. My administration will attract more FDI by making the CBN stronger and independent, banish multiple exchange rates and promote market-led economy.,” he said.
An HSBC research note dated July 18 said a second Buhari term “raises the risk of limited economic progress and further fiscal deterioration, prolonging the stagnation of his first term, particularly if there is no move towards completing reform of the exchange rate system or fiscal adjustments that diversify government revenues away