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Thu 3 May 2007 11:45 AM

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Qtel gets $2bn bank credit for growth

Barclays Capital and Royal Bank of Scotland are set to finance the Qatari telco's expansion plans.

Qatar Telecommunications Co. (Qtel) secured a $2 billion credit facility from a group of banks to help fund its expansion abroad, Qtel said on Thursday.

The company said in a statement on the Doha bourse website that Barclays Capital and Royal Bank of Scotland were bookrunners for the facility which was signed in London on April 30. It said the revolving facility was Qtel's first move into international capital markets.

Qtel took control of Kuwait's National Mobile Telecommunications Co. (Wataniya) in March for $3.72 billion, the largest Gulf Arab telecom acquisition, giving it customers in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria, the Maldives and Iraq.

The company, which in January bought 25 percent of Asia Mobile Holdings Pte. Ltd., a unit of Singapore Technologies Telemedia, announced this month it had agreed with a Saudi partner to buy 75 percent of Pakistan's Burraq Telecom.

Qtel, which also operates a subsidiary in Oman, called Nawras, has borrowed $4.5 billion from banks to pay for acquisitions, Chief Executive Naser Marafih said in March.

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