National Bank of Kuwait Group (NBK Group) and Kuwait Telecommunication Co. (VIVA) have yesterday signed (Monday, 17 June, 2013) a multi-currency financing agreement of USD 270 million to finance VIVA’s plans to upgrade its network and expand in Kuwait.
The financing includes a USD 70 million Murabaha Facility from Boubyan Bank, a member of NBK Group. The tenor of the financing is five years.
Salman Al Badran, VIVA Chief Executive Officer, Adel Al-Majed, Boubyan Bank Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Pradeep Handa, NBK General Manager, Foreign Corporate, Oil and Trade Finance Group, signed the agreement in the presence of NBK Group, Boubyan Bank and VIVA officials.
Commenting on this strategic deal, Al-Badran said: "Today marks the start of a new era for VIVA. This strategic partnership will help VIVA to further expand and develop its operations by allowing additional investment in its network, services and people and most importantly, diversify the funding sources for its operations and expansions, while preserving its financial strength. The financial strength that VIVA witnesses today is a result of its customers' loyalty and trust which it was able to gain over the years and it also reflects the trust and confidence the creditors and funders have in VIVA. I would like to extend a special thanks to each of them and to each member of the VIVA family, for their whole-hearted commitment and support."
“Looking to the future, we will continue to follow our customer-centric approach, and fulfill all our customers’ needs with our customary innovation, energy, and enthusiasm to deliver the very best telecommunication services in Kuwait."
On his part, Al-Majed said: “Signing a financing agreement of this value reflects the ability and commitment of Kuwaiti banks to shoulder their responsibilities in financing the projects of leading companies which have clear strategy and strong operational activity. The current stage requires cooperation among local banks in order to support the expansion plans of companies in view of the government’s plans to stir development in Kuwait.”
Al-Majed added that this agreement comes along with the developments and the growth that Boubyan has achieved, whether on the level of products or services provided to retail or corporate customers, noting that the Bank’s 2010-2014 strategy aims at supporting and financing small and medium-size companies with high creditworthiness and ambitious plans.
Handa said: “This financing agreement reflects NBK’s commitment as a trustworthy partner that can be relied on to support local and regional companies in their development and expansion plans. “The financing agreement also affirms NBK Group’s strong reputation and track-record in providing mega financing, as well as its professionalism and credibility in the market place.”
Handa added: “We hope this financing agreement will set the foundation of a long-term collaboration with VIVA. We are confident that VIVA will grow successfully and strengthen its position in the Kuwaiti market.”
NBK was founded in 1952 as the first indigenous bank and the first joint stock company in Kuwait and the Gulf Region. NBK is the largest financial institution in Kuwait and has been consistently awarded the highest credit rating of all banks in the region from Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch Ratings. NBK also stands out in terms of its local and international network, which includes branches, subsidiaries and representative offices in China, Geneva, London, Paris, New York, and Singapore alongside its regional presence in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey, and the UAE.
VIVA is the fastest-growing telecom operator in Kuwait. Launched in December 2008, VIVA makes things Possible for its customers by transforming communication, information and entertainment experiences. The company has rapidly established an unrivalled position in the market through its customer centric approach. VIVA's quest is to be the mobile brand of choice in Kuwait by being transparent, engaging, energetic and fulfilling. VIVA continues to take a considerable share of the market by offering an innovative range of best value products, services and content propositions; a state of the art, nationwide network and world-class service. VIVA offers internet speeds of more than 100 Mbps, due to the implementation of the most advanced fourth generation (4G LTE) network in Kuwait resulting in superior coverage, performance and reliability.
Boubyan Bank was incorporated in 2004 as a shareholding company with a capital of KD 100 million through a public offering in which the majority of Kuwaiti people participated. In 2009, the Bank witnessed radical changes represented in the entry of NBK as a major shareholder following which the Bank managed to increase its market share whether on the level of finance, customers or deposits to establish itself as one of the best Islamic banks in Kuwait.