GrameenPhone issues ‘unconventional’ bonds to raise USD63.2m

11 Nov 2008

GrameenPhone (GP) has signed agreements with ten institutions to raise BDT4.25 billion (USD63.2 million) by issuing coupon-bearing bonds in the local market on a private placement basis, arranged by Citibank. Bangladesh’s largest mobile operator said in a statement yesterday that the bonds will be ‘unsecured and non-convertible’ and will not be listed on any bourse, but will be ‘freely transferable’ and able to be bought and sold ‘over the counter’. ‘GP has taken the initiative to look beyond the conventional bank loan structure and into the capital market in the form of issuing a debt instrument to meet its funding needs,’ the company said. GP plans to improve its network infrastructure and pre-pay a portion of its short-term debt with the proceeds of the bonds. Anders Jensen, outgoing CEO of the cellco, said, ‘A placement of this kind will provide the bond market of the country a much needed boost and pave the way for other companies to explore this new avenue of financing.’

In related news, GP, a subsidiary of Norway’s Telenor, has appointed Oddvar Hesjedal as its new CEO with ‘immediate’ effect, as Mr Jensen is leaving for family reasons.

Bangladesh, GrameenPhone,

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