Etisalat seeks first credit rating by June

UAE telecom just latest Abu Dhabi corporate to seek rating in bid to help expansion overseas.

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By  Stanley Carvalho Published  May 18, 2008

UAE telecom Etisalat said on Sunday it expects to get its first credit rating by the end of June in a bid to help its expansion overseas.

"In keeping with our future business plans and corporate strategy, we are in the process of being rated by three international agencies," Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Salem Ali Al-Sharhan told newswire Reuters.

Sharhan said the ratings would be ready towards the end of June.

Etisalat has said this year it is looking at expanding in Africa, Iran and India.

Etisalat also said on Sunday it had been approached by Iranian businessmen seeking to interest the state-controlled company in investing in Iran's telecommunications sector.

"We've been approached by some Iranian businessmen," Etisalat Chairman Mohamed Omran told Reuters. "But it is too early."

Omran declined to identify the Iranian businessmen.

An executive at Etisalat told Reuters earlier on Sunday the Abu Dhabi-listed firm had held talks with the Iranian regulator earlier this year about opportunities in Iran and is studying possibilities to enter the market.

Etisalat, the second largest mobile operator in the Gulf Arab region, is the latest Abu Dhabi corporate to seek a credit rating.

Mubadala Development Company, an investment agency for the government of the world's fifth largest oil exporter, said last week it was seeking its first rating in a bid to lower borrowing costs.

Standard and Poor's Rating Services assigned Aldar Properties, Abu Dhabi's largest real estate developer by market value, an A- long-term rating and Moody's Investor Services an A3 rating with a stable outlook in April.

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