Oman's Nawras inks $182m financing deal

Country's No 2 telecom operator signs agreement to fund upgrade of its network

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Omani Qatari Telecommunications Company, also known as Nawras, has signed a new financing agreement worth OR70m ($182m).

The Omani telco said it has inked a five-year deal for capital expenditure and working capital requirements.

A consortium of DBS Bank - Dubai Branch, HSBC Oman, Mizuho Corporate Bank, and Qatar National Bank provided the financing, Nawras said in a statement.

Nawras said some of the new funds would be used to pay for the upgrading its network in order to increase speed, capacity and provide wider coverage to give customers a more rewarding experience.

The programme includes increased 3G+ capacity offering doubled speeds and greater coverage, launching 4G LTE services as well as new network footprint.

Jorgen Latte, chief financial officer, Nawras said: “There had been a huge interest from both local and foreign banks in our new facility.

"The strong commitment of the international banks in this new facility also reflects the strength and trust in the Omani economy and Nawras as one of its key flagship companies.”

Oman's No.2 telecom operator reported a 47 percent fall in third-quarter profit in October, blaming the slump on falling text revenue and higher network maintenance costs.

The firm, majority-owned by Qatar Telecom (Qtel), made a net profit of OR7.2m ($18.70m) in the three months to September 30, down from OR13.48m in the year-earlier period.

In September, Nawras launched number portability for fixed line services in a move that may help it woo corporate customers from former monopoly Oman Telecommunications (Omantel).

Previously, companies had to change their telephone number to switch to Nawras' fixed line services, a requirement that analysts said was a hurdle to the operator winning corporate clients.

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