Zain Saudi extends maturity on $2.4bn loan

Loss-making telco given until July 31 to repay Islamic loan which was due on Wednesday
Zain Saudi extends maturity on $2.4bn loan
GCC telecoms
By Reuters
Thu 27 Jun 2013 08:07 AM

Loss-making telecom operator Zain Saudi has gained more time - until July 31 - to repay a $2.4bn Islamic loan due on Wednesday, the company said in a bourse statement.

Zain Saudi, 37-percent owned by Kuwait's Zain, said the latest extension was to allow it to finalise a new long-term replacement agreement with lenders, which will be for five years and incur lower costs.

The murabaha facility - a sharia-compliant cost-plus-profit arrangement - was originally due in 2011, but has been put back multiple times.

Zain Saudi, which has yet to make a quarterly net profit since launching services in 2008, earlier this month received government approval to defer payment of licence-related fees that could total around $1.49bn over seven years.

The firm's shares have gained 13.6 percent since it announced the government deal.

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