Saudi Arabian telecoms operator Zain Saudi Arabia (formerly Saudi MTC) has secured a delay on the maturity of USD3 billion worth of loans for another five weeks to 29 May 2013. The company, an affiliate of Kuwait’s Zain Group, has extended a SAR9 billion (USD2.4 billion) Islamic loan which was originally due to be repaid in 2011, but which has been reimbursed numerous times. In addition, Zain has secured a further period to allow for a separate USD600 million loan that was due to be settled this week. According to the stock market statement released by the company, the new dilation will be used to acquire fresh loans with five year repayment period.
Zain Saudi Arabia had liabilities of SAR19.5 billion at the end of 2012, and has struggled to compete against rivals Saudi Telecom Company and Mobily, an affiliate of the UAE’s Etisalat, ever since it paid USD6.1 billion for the third mobile licence in the country in August 2008.