Saudi Mobily signs $200M vendor financing deal to buy Alcatel-Lucent kit

Saudi Arabia-based Mobily has signed a $200 million (€146.5 million) vendor financing deal with the Canada export credit agency to allow the mobile operator to buy telecoms equipment from Alcatel-Lucent.

In a statement on the Saudi Stock Exchange, Mobily said the long-term agreement will enable it to upgrade and enhance its network infrastructure using kit from the French-U.S. equipment manufacturer.

"The total tenor of the facilities is 10.5 years, and will be utilised over a period of two years," Mobily said. "The loan will be repaid in 17 semi-annual equal installments, and has been priced at a fixed rate of 2.52 per cent per annum with a 3 per cent upfront premium."

Credit Agricole, Societe Generale, and Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi are lead arrangers on the Sharia-compliant facility.

Mobily competes with Saudi Telecom (STC) and Zain Saudi and has a 39 per cent share of the market, according to Reuters, which cited figures provided by Kuwait-based Zain group.

The Saudi operators are also due to gain their first mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) on the market this year, with Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA) launching services on the STC network in the first half of 2014, and the London-based Lebara Group using the Mobily network.

However, the process to license three MVNOs in Saudi Arabia encountered an unexpected delay in April after the Saudi regulator launched a new tender for Zain Saudi's network. The deadline for the re-tender has now been extended to Monday July 7, 2014.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this stock exchange statement

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