A Nedbank branch in St George's Mall, Cape Town. File picture: Tracey Adams
Johannesburg – Nedbank's share price on Tuesday closed 3.45 percent lower at R224.56 after Ecobank reported a loss for 2016.

Ecobank, which operates in nearly 40 African countries, said a recession in Nigeria and a strong US dollar led to a loss for 2016, sending its shares 5 percent lower.

Ecobank said its loss before tax narrowed to $131.3 million (R1.75 billion) in 2016, from a loss of $205.2 million a year earlier.

Its shares shed 5 percent, adding to a 20 percent fall this year.

The stock fell 39 percent last year.

Ecobank’s losses prompted one its biggest investors, South African lender Nedbank, in February to write down the value of its 20 percent stake by R1.1 billon. Nedbank bought its stake for $500 million in 2014.

Read also: Ecobank is eyeing more stable market

After the write-down, it is worth R2.9 billion on Nedbank’s books.

It had been worth R7.8 billion in 2015.

Reuters, with Philippa Larkin