x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

$1.2 billion deal for majority Saudi-owned Indonesian telecoms company

Axis, the Indonesian operator  owned by the Saudi Telecoms Company, has completed a $1.2 billion financing deal.

Axis, the Indonesian operator majority owned by the Saudi Telecoms Company, has completed a $1.2 billion (Dh4.4bn) financing deal to fund its expansion, the company said today.

The Shariah-compliant deal will help finance the telecoms operator's network expansion and mobile broadband services.

The deal comprises three facilities: a $450 million Murabaha commercial facility underwritten by Deutsche Bank and Saudi British Bank; a $400 million facility for equipment purchases from Huawei, underwritten by China Development Bank; and a $350 million facility for equipment purchases from Ericsson, arranged by HSBC and backed by EKN, the Swedish Export Credit Agency.

STC, Saudi Arabia's largest phone operator by market value, said earlier this year that it had raised its stake in Axis to 80.1 per cent from 51 per cent.

In a related agreement, STC said it will offer Axis an $81m loan and is committed to offer another $290m when necessary as part of the Indonesian operator's five-year plan.

Axis has more than 10 million subscribers.

STC said in May than it plans to invest around $450m to help grow its Indonesian operations, including a boost to the broadband wireless network.

 

bflanagan@thenational.ae