Mobily pens US$2.875 billion Islamic loan agreement
Mobily has been able to garner more than 6 million mobile subscribers since launching commercial operations in May 2005, having achieved revenues of SAR6.1 billion (US$1.67 billion) to the end of 2006.
Etisalat-backed Saudi mobile operator Mobily has signed an Islamic financing agreement amounting to around US$2.875 billion in the largest-ever syndicated Islamic loan, in order to fund its rapid expansion throughout Saudi Arabia. Banks include Samba, Saudi French Bank with Calyon, Saudi Hollandi Bank with ABN Amro, National Commercial Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi. The loan will be used to pay short-term debt, and to finance operations and infrastructure expansion and will comply with Islamic concepts on interest on lending.
Mobily has been able to garner more than 6 million mobile subscribers since launching commercial operations in May 2005, having achieved revenues of SAR6.1 billion (US$1.67 billion) to the end of 2006, with the profit of SAR700 million after only 18 months of operations.
Currently, Mobily’s network extends to all cities and major towns in Saudi Arabia, in addition to more than 22,000 kilometres of highways. The operator launched 3.5G services in June 2006, covering 19 cities in the kingdom, and by the end of 2006, the operator counted more than 500,000 active 3G and 3.5G subscribers.
Mobily has also announced that CNN International can now be watched live on 3G mobile phones in the kingdom, through a deal that marks the first time CNN has been made available live on mobile phones in the Middle East through a 3G network.