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Africa Finance Corporation approves $230 mln loan for Nigeria's 9mobile

LAGOS, Aug 25 (Reuters) - The Africa Finance Corporation has approved a $230 million loan for Nigerian telecom company 9mobile, the firm said on Sunday.

The money will be used to honour existing debts, finance its costs and invest in growth, a 9mobile statement said.

9mobile, formerly called Etisalat Nigeria, is the countrys fourth-biggest telecoms operator and was operated by Abu Dhabi-based telecoms firm Etisalat until the local company defaulted on its debt, forcing lenders to step in to find new investors.

Competition in Nigeria's mobile telecoms market is intense, with the biggest operator, MTN, expanding its service through partnerships with banks. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Writing by Paul Carsten, Editing by William Maclean)