Abu Dhabi telecoms operator Etisalat’s Egyptian unit is to borrow LE 7.2 billion ($1.3 billion) for expansion and to improve services.
The funds will come from National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr and National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the unit’s chief financial officer Ehab Rochdy said on Monday. The long-term loan will include a $300 million portion denominated in dollars.
The unit said in November it would spend $1.5 billion on its network over the next three years and would consider listing in Egypt, but did not provide a timeframe.
It said at the time it had spent LE 8 billion since entering the market in 2007, when it become the most populous Arab country’s third mobile operator.
It has since offered aggressive pricing to garner market share, but still trails market leaders Mobinil and Vodafone Egypt by a significant margin.
Etisalat has faced increased competition in its home market after its monopoly was broken in 2007 by Dubai-based du.
The company is one of a number of Gulf Arab telecom operators that have expanded overseas after losing monopolies at home.