Zain Saudi extends $2.4bn loan until July 31
Riyadh, June 26, 2013
Loss-making telecom operator Zain Saudi has gained more time - until July 31 - to repay a $2.4 billion Islamic loan due on Wednesday, the company said in a bourse statement.
Zain Saudi, 37-per cent 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 $1.49 billion over seven years.
The firm's shares have gained 13.6 per cent since it announced the government deal.-Reuters