World Bank to finance network expansion of Bangladesh’s third largest mobile company

December 22, 2015 OPINION/NEWS

By

Sheuli Akter

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, will provide financing to help Robi Axiata Limited (Robi) to expand its telecom network and build new telecommunication infrastructure networks.

The US $99 million long term loan facility will enable Robi to improve public access to affordable and reliable telecommunication services by increasing capacity and extending coverage, particularly in rural and underserved areas. A significant portion of the debt financing will be channeled toward augmenting coverage and capacity in Robi’s 3.5G mobile network, said a press release.

An agreement was signed in this regard between the two organizations as announced at a city hotel on Monday. Robi’s Managing Director and CEO Supun Weerasinghe and IFC’s Senior Country Officer M. Rehan Rashid signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations.

This agreement indicates the growing stature of Robi in the country. It also attests Robi’s strong corporate governance framework premised on uncompromising integrity. The loan also enables Robi to have the optimum capital structure having local & foreign loans in addition to shareholders contribution, the release added.

Commenting on the agreement Robi CEO said, “Robi is indeed grateful to IFC for their confidence in our business. We believe that it also reflects the confidence of the international community such as the World Bank, on the future of Bangladesh.”

“Robi, as a leading mobile operator underpinned by Axiata vision of advancing Asia, always invests responsibly in our network to deliver best value experience for our subscribers. This partnership with IFC is a further endorsement of this vision and our commitment towards corporate governance and corporate responsibility.”

“Speaking at the occasion, IFC’s Senior Country Officer, M. Rehan Rashid, said, “Robi clearly stands out in the mobile telecom industry as an operator upholding the principles of a responsible corporate entity. We find the operator honoring its commitment unfailingly towards sustainable growth of the economy while undertaking customer centric market initiatives.

Robi’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Yap Wai Yip, Chief Corporate and People Officer (CCPO) Matiul Islam Nowshad and Mohammad Lutfullah, Operations Officer, World Bank Group were present at the signing ceremony.

Robi is a joint venture between Axiata Group Berhad of Malaysia (92 percent) and NTT DoCoMo Inc of Japan (8 percent).

 

 

 

 

 

Sheuli Akter

Sheuli Akter, from Bangladesh, is a Special Correspondent and Editor of NsNewsWire, (Bangladesh’s First Press Newswire).  Previously she had worked for Bangladesh’ top news agency, United News of Bangladesh (UNB) and top newspaper (now defunct) The Bangladesh Observer. She also gained an honourable mention in the first ever World Media Summit WMS Awards for ‘Exemplary News Professionals in Developing Countries’, receiving the award in Beijing in January 2015.

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