Funding in place for Iraqi network overhaul

An Iraqi operator has secured financing for a network upgrade, allowing it to improve the quality of services it provides to customers across Iraq as well as to accommodate ongoing growth in subscriber numbers to its network. HSBC has signed a $24m medium term facility to finance telecommunications equipment and systems supplied by Nokia Siemens Networks to the operator Asiacell.

NSN entered into a framework contract with Asiacell in 2008 and has since been one of the operator’s leading suppliers of equipment; the vendor’s solutions, financed through the credit facility, will be used to expand and upgrade Asiacell's network in several different areas of Iraq.

This medium term financing is insured by the German Government's Export Credit Agency (ECA) Euler Hermes Kreditversicherungs AG. Euler Hermes ' primary role is to enhance German companies' competitiveness abroad.

Dr. Christiane Schloderer, Structured Finance of Nokia Siemens Networks Middle East, said: "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: "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."

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