Iraqi mobile operator Asiacell has signed a $24m medium-term facility with UK bank HSBC to finance telecommunications equipment and systems supplied by vendor Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN).

Asiacell, which is part-owned by Qatar Telecom, is looking to introduce third-generation (3G) technology next year. The facility will be used towards upgrading its services.

The medium-term facility financing is insured by the German government’s export credit agency, Euler Hermes Kreditversicherungs.

“Iraq has a substantial infrastructure development requirement and ECA financing will be a very important part of the associated financing needs,” says Simon Lee, director of HSBC’s project and export finance team.