QTel repays $3bn loan facility

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Wataniya Telecom is majority owned by Qatar Telecom. Photo – Commsmea.com

Qatar Telecom (Qtel) said in a bourse statement on Thursday it has repaid a $3 billion loan facility using existing funds.

According to Thomson Reuters data, bookrunners Barclays, BNP Paribas, DBS and RBS facilitated the five-year syndicated term loan in August 2007. It was priced at 65 basis points over the London interbank offered rate (Libor).

The company announced in January through a capital markets presentation that its issue of $2.75 billion in bonds in 2010 preemptively addressed the refinancing of the $3 billion 2012 loan.

Qtel operates in 16 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The Doha-based telecoms is presently in the midst of talks to acquire the remaining 47.5% stake it does not already own in Kuwaiti telecom company Wataniya for $2.2 billion, as the state-owned operator eyes acquisitions to ward off threats from rivals.

The operator, taking advantage of the gas-rich Gulf state’s healthy financial position at a time when other large telecom firms are shying away from deals, has been raising stakes in its subsidiaries.

The company reported a fall in second-quarter profit of 11.3% attributable to foreign exchange losses at its Indonesian and Algerian units and weaker profits in Kuwait and Oman. Shares in Qtel are up nearly 13% so far this year.

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