Saudi cellular operator Mobily has signed a USD2.875 billion financing deal to fund its continued network expansion. The firm, which is majority owned by Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates, has signed what is the world’s largest ever syndicated Islamic loan with banks including Samba, Saudi French Bank with Calyon, Saudi Hollandi Bank with ABN Amro, National Commercial Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi. Mobily says that the loan, which complies with Islamic concepts on lending and interest rates, will be used to pay short-term debt and also finance operations and infrastructure expansion.
Mobily launched in May 2005 and currently has more than six million subscribers, including 500,000 3G and 3.5G customers. It has networks covering all the major cities and towns, as well as 22,000km of highways. It reported sales of SAR6.1 billion and profits of SAR700 million in 2006.