Bangladeshi cellco Banglalink, controlled by Egypt’s Orascom Telecom, has raised USD102 million in the country’s largest corporate bonds issuance, reports the UK’s Financial Times. The amount is higher than the target announced in December 2009 (USD60.5 million), when Banglalink’s private placement received the go-ahead from financial regulators, as it subsequently attracted a high level of interest from investors such as mutual funds, insurance companies and commercial banks. The transaction also broke the previous national record (USD70 million) set recently by rival mobile operator GrameenPhone. ‘Investor confidence is coming back,’ said Shams Zaman of Citi Bangladesh, which arranged the deal. Although the placement was relatively small on a world scale, Zaman added that ‘the Orascom bond shows that it’s possible to raise sizable amounts of financing from the local market.’ Banglalink plans to use the proceeds of its bond sale to invest in network equipment and expand in rural Bangladesh.
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