HSBC has signed a USD 24 million medium term facility to finance telecommunications equipment and systems supplied by Nokia Siemens Networks - one of the worlds leading telecommunications equipment suppliers - to Asiacell, a leading mobile operator in Iraq.
The equipment and services supported by this financing will allow Asiacell to continue to upgrade the quality of services it provides to customers across Iraq as well as to accommodate ongoing growth in subscriber numbers to the Asiacell network.
Nokia Siemens Networks entered into a framework contract with Asiacell in 2008 and has since been one of the leading suppliers of telecommunications equipment and systems to Asiacell. Nokia Siemens Networks solutions, financed through the credit facility, will be used to expand and upgrade Asiacell’s network in several different areas of Iraq.
“Once more, we have been able to support the growth of our customer in advancing our common goal of providing best-in-class services to the people in Iraq, both through the provision of our technology and facilitating a financial solution,” said Christian Boczek, Country Director of Nokia Siemens Networks in Iraq.
This medium term financing is insured by the German Governments Export Credit Agency (ECA) Euler Hermes Kreditversicherungs AG. Euler Hermes primary role is to enhance German companies competitiveness abroad.
Mr. Faruk Mustafa Rasool, Chairman of Asiacell, said: “Achieving financial close on this ECA facility is another significant milestone in Asiacell’s history. The support we have obtained here from Euler Hermes Kreditversicherungs AG, Nokia Siemens Networks and HSBC is important to Asiacell as an established market leading operator with a strong track record and an ambitious growth strategy.”
Dr. Christiane Schloderer, Structured Finance of Nokia Siemens Networks Middle East, said: “We are proud to have been one of the leading suppliers to Asiacell since 2008. The ECA supported financing demonstrates our ability to provide innovative financing solutions to our customers throughout the region. This ECA backed facility is the first of its kind in Iraq in many years now. We are pleased to have worked with Asiacell and HSBC in implementing this financing and also grateful for the support provided by Euler Hermes Kreditversicherungs AG.”
Simon Lee, Director in HSBC’s project and export finance team, said: “HSBC and our local subsidiary in Iraq, Dar Es Salaam Investment Bank, are delighted to have supported Asiacell and Nokia Siemens Networks in this landmark financing, being Asiacell’s first ever ECA supported financing and also the first ECA financing into Iraq since the 1980’s. Iraq has a substantial infrastructure development requirement and ECA financing will be a very important part of the associated financing needs. This Euler Hermes -supported financing emphasises yet again the continued importance and attraction of medium and long term ECA supported finance to Middle Eastern borrowers for the financing of capital expenditure. It is also a further demonstration of HSBC’s market leading position in the business, having arranged more ECA backed loans than any bank in the Middle East in 2010 and in the first half of 2011, according to data provider Dealogic.”
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