Mobile Telecommunications Company Saudi Arabia (Zain KSA), a subsidiary of Kuwait-headquartered telecoms operator Zain Group, has signed a commercial debt facility to replace an existing SR2.25bn ($600m) loan.

The two-year loan, which is extendable by another year, was signed with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). The loan will replace a syndicated facility, which will bring the cost of financing down by SR175m, the company said in a statement to the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), where its shares are traded.

The parent Zain Group is the guarantor of the loan, which was formally signed on 15 August.

Zain Group has been trying to expand its footprint into other markets in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region. It has indicated an interest to participate in bidding for a 4G licence in Egypt. The company informed the Kuwait Stock Exchange on 18 July that it has sent an letter to Egypt’s communications ministry to “discuss the possibility of applying for the 4G licence”.

The company is competing for the licence with Egypt Telecom and Etisalat Egypt among others.