Wataniya Palestine secures $85m loan to complete network

04 February 2009
Wataniya Palestine, a subsidiary of Qatar's Qtel, has secured an $85m loan to finish work on its mobile phone network.

The telecoms operator holds the second mobile phone licence for the West Bank and Gaza, but has yet to launch in either area because Israel delayed freeing up the spectrum it needs to build its network.

A group of banks and credit agencies have backed the new loan. Standard Bank of South Africa is the lead bank.

Three Palestinian banks are involved in the syndicate. They are Bank of Palestine, Quds Bank and Commercial Bank of Palestine.

The other agencies involved in the loan are Ericsson Credit, the finance arm of the Swedish infrastructure supplier, Exportkreditnamden, the Swedish government's export credit guarantee board, GuarantCo from Mauritius, and the International Finance Corporation, an arm of the World Bank.

Wataniya Palestine has yet to give a firm date for the launch of mobile phone services.

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