Halal expansion: Zain Telecom secures $250 million islamic loan
Zain Group, a pioneer of mobile telecommunications in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, has secured a $250 million four-year Murabaha facility from a syndicate of financial institutions led by Kuwait-based Boubyan Bank and with the participation of Kuwait International Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank. The Murabaha facility which was signed on favorable terms will be used to meet Zain Group’s operational and expansion financing needs. Zain Group CEO Scott Gegenheimer commented: “This Murabaha agreement at these preferential terms underscores the Group’s success in adopting a policy of prudent borrowing to finance general corporate needs.” He continued, “The contract strengthens our relations with the Islamic banking community, taking advantage of the sector’s facilities. It also comes in the context of our fiscal policy in which we seek to diversify sources of funding.” On his part, the Deputy Chairman and CEO of Boubyan Bank, Adel Abdul-Wahab Al-Majed said, “This agreement marks a clear message on the ability of Kuwaiti banks and their commitment to supporting corporate entities with strong operational performance and robust strategies, while at the same time contributing to the development of the national economy.” Furthermore, Al-Majed added, “Many ground-breaking developments in Boubyan Bank in recent years has earned us a reputation as a leading player in the Islamic finance sector in Kuwait, earning the confidence of major companies, including Zain.” In recent years Zain has invested heavily in upgrading its mobile networks and in rolling out new services across all its operations taking advantage of the boom in the mobile sector, specifically in the everincreasing demand for efficient broadband services. Most recently, the company introduced 4G LTE superfast broadband services to several key markets namely Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain as well as extensively upgrading and expanding 3G networks in Jordan, Sudan and South Sudan. In Iraq, the network has been upgraded with a Single-RAN, allowing the operator to offer broadband services once the 3G licence has been granted. Additionally, Zain Iraq is aggressively expanding its network and rolling out commercial services in the more affluent northern region of the country.
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