Home / Wataniya agrees US$1bn credit with BNP Paribas

Wataniya agrees US$1bn credit with BNP Paribas

Facility will help build on fine Q306 financial results

KUWAIT’S Wataniya Telecom has mandated BNP Paribas to arrange a US$1 billion, threeyear revolving credit facility, with an extension option of two years.

BNP Paribas will act as the sole underwriter, arranger and bookrunner in connection with the facility, which will be syndicated to a select group of relationship banks.

Wataniya also announced its financial results for the third quarter 2006, reporting a 40% rise in net revenues for the nine months to the end of September to US$1.06 billion and a 22% rise in consolidated net profit to US$172.3million.

Total customers increased to 8.84 million at the end of September, up from 5.2 million a year earlier driven by growth in subscriber numbers.

“We have exceeded a combined subscriber base of 8.8 million by doubling our customers in Algeria and Iraq, more than quadrupling in the Maldives and growing sevenfold in Saudi Arabia compared to the same quarter in 2005,” said Faisal Al-Ayyar, chairman of Wataniya Telecom.

“Our solid reputation and experience in greenfield operations has also won us the bid to build and operate the second mobile telecoms licence in Palestine, a market that we believe has great business potential.”

The firm has 2.82 million subscribers in Tunisia, 2.54 million in Iraq, 2.35 million in Algeria and 1.02 million in Kuwait, with the remainder split between Saudi Arabia and the Maldives. It was selected to build and operate the second mobile telecoms licence in Palestine earlier this year.

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