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Strengthening Ghanaian access to mobile telecommunications

man on the mobile phoneThursday 16 July 2009 08:33

FMO, the Netherlands Development Finance Company, announces the contracting of an US$ 17.5 million loan, as co-investor of an US$ 70 million syndicated loan to Zain Ghana. The loan will enable Zain Ghana to scale up operations.

FMO, the Netherlands Development Finance Company, announces the contracting of an US$ 17.5 million loan, as co-investor of an US$ 70 million syndicated loan to Zain Ghana. The loan will enable Zain Ghana to scale up operations and provide affordable and reliable communications services to a larger extend of the inhabitants of Ghana.

Rural areas
This new loan will ensure that more and more Ghanaian people get connected to the world, especially those living in rural areas. Access to communications services will enable them to participate in and benefit from the globalization by lowering the barriers to start businesses.

Loan specifics
The syndicated loan, in which FMO participates, has the form of an IFC “B” Loan and a parallel loan, with a seven year tenor and a grace period of 37 months. The IFC “B” loan was jointly provided by FMO, Cordiant Capital, the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund Limited and FirstRand Bank Limited. IFC is acting as a lender of record for the B loan participants.

Longtime partnership
Zain Ghana is majority-owned by Zain, a leading Middle Eastern telecommunications company and long-time FMO partner from the time the African operations (then called Celtel) were started and based in the Netherlands. Ghana has experienced significant growth in the availability of telecommunications services, at significant lower costs to consumers. At 45%, the mobile penetration rate is now higher than in other countries in Sub-Sahara Africa with a similar per capita income. At the same time, teledensity in Ghana is highly concentrated in urban areas, leaving the penetration rates in rural and semi-urban areas well below 10%.

About FMO
The Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) is the international development bank of the Netherlands. FMO invests risk capital in companies and financial institutions in developing countries. With an investment portfolio of € 4.2 billion, FMO is one of the largest bilateral private sector development banks worldwide. Thanks in part to its relationship with the Dutch government, FMO is able to take risks which commercial financiers are not - or not yet - prepared to take. FMO's mission: to create flourishing enterprises, which can serve as engines of sustainable growth in their countries.
 
Press contact:
Patrick Harms
Communications Officer a.i. (PR)
M: +31  642 054 041
E: phm@fmo.nl  

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