(Adds attorney general’s lawyer comment)
By Alexis Akwagyiram
LAGOS, Dec 12 (Reuters) - A Nigerian judge adjourned on Wednesday a hearing over an $8.1 billion dispute between South African telecoms giant MTN and the central bank until Jan. 22.
The dispute is over the transfer of $8.1 billion of funds which Nigeria’s central bank said the company had sent abroad in breach of foreign-exchange regulations. MTN has denied any wrongdoing.
Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market, accounting for a third of the South African company’s annual core profit. The mobile phone network serves 56 million people in Nigeria.
The adjournment came at the request of the central bank and MTN lawyers.
“We are still making moves towards an out of court settlement,” a central bank lawyer told the court.
The attorney general - listed as co-defendant alongside the central bank - has agreed on the move to reach a settlement, a lawyer representing his office said in court.
An MTN lawyer said discussions were ongoing. (Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram; riting by Paul Carsten; editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)