Cordiant provides $50m to Zain Iraq for mobile development
Funding provided as part of long term financing to develop mobile infrastructure in Iraq
Canadian fund manager Cordiant Capital Inc is to provide a $50 million loan to assist with the development of Iraq's mobile phone network.
The loan, part of a $400 million long term financing package for Zain Iraq, will help to develop Iraq's mobile services, particularly network coverage for remote populations.
Cordiant is providing the loan on behalf of the Infrastructure Crisis Facility Debt Pool (ICF Debt Pool), developed on the Private Infrastructure Development Group platform, a coalition of donors mobilising private sector investment to assist developing countries with infrastructure development.
Iraq currently has an estimated mobile phone penetration rate of around 77%, far behind most of the rest of the Gulf region.
David Creighton, president and CEO of Cordiant Capital, commented: "Iraq's need for infrastructure is immense. So far, foreign direct investment has been very scarce apart from in the oil & gas industry. As a result, the country's economy is highly dependent on oil whilst other business sectors are extremely under developed. Improved access to mobile telephony will facilitate the growth of small business, promote entrepreneurship and increase job creation in all sectors."
Andy Bainbridge, chairman of the Board of Directors of the ICF Debt Pool, added: "The relatively low mobile phone penetration rate in Iraq means that the market has a great potential for growth in the next ten years, making this an attractive deal for our long term investors. We have carefully assessed the risks to telephony infrastructure in Iraq and are comfortable that this deal is well within our parameters."