Citi provides $70million Term Financing to Mobilink

Karachi, June 07, 2012 (PPI-OT): Citi Pakistan has successfully concluded the arrangement of US$ 70 Million in Term Financing for Pakistan Mobile Communications Limited (“PMCL” or Mobilink), the largest cellular company in Pakistan by subscriber base and the market leader in the telecom industry.

This latest transaction by Citi includes the extension of US$ 40MM term financing (in equivalent PKR) to Mobilink, backed by the US based Overseas Private Investment Corporation (“OPIC”), as well as the arrangement of an additional US$30 Million in foreign currency financing from the Dutch development bank FMO.

Citi will also be providing hedging solutions for the foreign currency amount of the financing, whilst acting as the security trustee for the European lender. These landmark facilities aim to partially fund Mobilink’s plans for infrastructural up gradation.

With more than 35 Million subscribers, Mobilink has been the primary driver of growth in telecom in Pakistan. It is the largest cellular company in Pakistan holding more than 30% share of the Pakistani cellular market.

It has the largest mobile network in Pakistan covering 73% of the total Pakistani population in over 20,000 cities, towns, and villages. Mobilink has already invested more than US$3.9 billion in its mobile network

The OPIC backed facility is part of a recent global risk participation agreement between Citibank and OPIC, through which Citi can extend financing to private enterprises in Emerging Markets including Pakistan.

This OPIC backed loan to Mobilink represents the first such deal under the global Citi-OPIC agreement and highlights the potential for similar loans to be disbursed to other private sector Corporate clients of Citi in Pakistan, under the Citi-OPIC global agreement.

For the US$30 Million in foreign funding, Citi was able to leverage its vast international network to generate long term DFI interest in Pakistani private sector credit. This is particularly significant at a time when the global climate remains volatile and emerging market appetite continues to wane. The deal is significant not only to Mobilink (PMCL), but also to other local business as it has opened external financing possibilities for all other local companies.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Islamabad, Citi’s Country Officer for Pakistan, Mr. Nadeem Lodhi said, ‘We are delighted to successfully conclude this landmark international financing for Mobilink to be used towards it infrastructural development plans.

This transaction represents one of the first significant DFI and OPIC forays into Pakistan since 2008 without implicit or explicit public sector support or foreign sponsor guarantees. Globality is our vital strength which we leverage in order to provide unique financial solutions to seamlessly serve our clients, as they conduct cross-border businesses in a world which is increasingly global and inter-connected.’

Speaking on the occasion Rashid Khan, President and CEO Mobilink addressed, “Mobilink was looking for a medium to long-term funding solution. The multilateral deal has allowed us to open and maintain a diverse source of competitive funding.” He also appreciated the support of State Bank of Pakistan to the investment and financing plans of the company.

For more information, Contact:
Saba Karim
Public Affairs Officer
Citi Pakistan
Cell: +922 13 2213627
Fax: +92 21 3263 8211

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