MOBITEL ENTERS US$363 MILLION FUNDING AGREEMENT IN SUDAN
MTC Group has inked a US$363.3 million development deal for its Sudanese venture Mobitel. The facility, called Murabaha, has been supplied by both regional and local financial institutions including Kuwait's Gulf Bank, Boubyan Bank and the National Bank of Kuwait, along with other regional investors, and will be put towards the operator’s further expansion in Sudan.
“Mobitel intends to use the proceeds for the purpose of funding its developmental expansion projects including licence fees, network capital expenditures, as well as other costs in expanding the business,” said Sam Deeb, MTC Group chief financial officer.
Sudan is widely considered as one of the most lucrative telecoms markets in Africa, with mobile penetration currently standing at 10% in the country. MTC owns 100% of Mobitel as of February 2006, when it purchased an outstanding 61% of the operator as part of a US$1.3 billion transaction. Mobitel's current subscriber base has reached 3.2 million; which represents 11% of MTC's overall subscriber base. Sudan's population numbers over 37 million. MTC aims to carry out a major expansion of Mobitel to expand network coverage to 80% of the populated area of the country by the end of 2007. ITP