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Lagos - Africa's Ecobank, which operates in nearly 40 African countries, said on Tuesday a recession in Nigeria and a strong US currency had caused it to report a loss for 2016, sending its shares five percent lower.

Nigeria accounts for 40 percent of Ecobank's revenues and is in its second year of recession, brought on by lower oil prices which has caused chronic dollar shortages, frustrating businesses and households.

"Our group revenues remained resilient despite a tough year of macroeconomic headwinds including a weaker economic environment, particularly in Nigeria, and the strengthening of our reporting currency - the US dollar," Ecobank said.

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The Lagos-listed bank said its loss before tax narrowed to $131.3 million 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 also said it planned to raise $400 million via a convertible bond issue at 6.46 percent above Libor and had received interest from existing investors for $300 million.