Nigeria's Senate President Bukola Saraki arrives to deliver a news conference at the white house lobby of the National Assembly in Abuja. Photo: Reuters.

INTERNATIONAL – Nigeria’s central bank held its benchmark interest rate at 14 percent, its governor said on Tuesday, following the first meeting of its monetary policy committee this year.

Most analysts polled by Reuters expect rates to be kept on hold until at least the middle of the year.

In other news,  South Africa’s MTN has paid $53 million (R738m) to settle a money transfer dispute with Nigeria’s central bank and the matter has been withdrawn from court, Governor Godwin Emefiele said on Tuesday.

The company’s row with the Nigerian Central Bank over historic dividend repatriations ended last month, after dragging the share price to its lowest level since 2006.

It has shed 35 percent since last year but gained marginally by 0.09 percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R85.54 a share yesterday, valuing the company at R161 billion.

The central bank had ordered MTN and its lenders to bring back a total of $8.1 billion it alleged the company had illegally repatriated using improperly issued paperwork between 2007 and 2008.