Viva Bahrain seals $280m financing

STC's Bahrain subsidiary secures financing arrangement to fund growth and expansion.

Tags: BahrainSaudi Telecom Company
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Viva Bahrain seals $280m financing Ghassan Hasbani described the financing agreement as "long term funding".
By  Roger Field Published  February 3, 2011

Mobile operator Viva Bahrain, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia's STC Group, has signed a $280 million financing agreement with HSBC Bahrain and Samba, a Saudi Arabian bank.

Under the agreement, HSBC will provide $100 million and Samba will provide $180 million.

Ghassan Hasbani, CEO international, STC Group, told CommsMEA that the agreement represented a "very good deal".

He said that by arranging most of the agreement in dollars, Viva Bahrain was able to secure a low interest rate.

Hasbani added that the financing will be used for infrastructure deployment in Bahrain and general costs.

"We are deploying infrastructure anyway, and Viva is still in growth mode so it is effectively being used to fund the entire operation.

"This is a long term funding so it will help the company until the cash situation is sustainable and self sufficient, so we don't envisage any further major funding rounds beyond this," he added.

Ameen Al Shiddi, STC vice president, added that the group's "excellent credit rating" and existing relationships with financial institutions helped it to secure the financing agreement at competitive rates.

Viva Bahrain, which is the newest of Bahrain's three mobile operators, launched services in March 2010.

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