CamGSM gets US$70m loan from GuarantCo for network upgrades

CamGSM gets US$70m loan from GuarantCo for network upgrades

Cambodian operator CamGSM said on Wednesday that it has secured a US$70 million guaranteed loan from GuarantCo – a subsidiary of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) – to support its sustainability bond.

CamGSM – which operates under the brand Cellcard – launched the sustainability bond on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) in November, with Royal Group as the sole underwriter and financial advisor. At the time of launch, Manulife and Prudential had fully subscribed to the bond backed by a 100% guarantee from GuarantCo, with the bond valued at US$20 million.

CamGSM CEO Simon Perkins said the money from both the bond and the GuarantCo loan will be allocated towards financing 4G telecoms towers, energy-efficient 4G equipment and future-proofing the network in preparation for its eventual 5G rollout.

“The CamGSM’s sustainability bond and secured financing will support projects aiming to alleviate climate change related risks with investment in renewable energy and provide connectivity to the underserved population,” he said in a statement. “The US$70 million funds, as guaranteed by GuarantCo, will be allocated strategically, enhancing the network and infrastructure capabilities, as well as investing in environment-friendly products and initiatives aimed at serving the underserved communities.”

CamGSM added that the network upgrades will not only enhance Cellcard’s service quality for its customers, but also create around 260 jobs, including installers, riggers, engineers, surveyors, designers, network optimisers, network testers and drivers, tower maintenance workers and back-office roles.

GuarantCo CEO Layth Al-Falaki said that the transaction – which is funded by Deutsche Bank – is its first telecoms-related transaction in Asia and its second with Royal Group, following a US$24 million bond guarantee for Royal Railway in December 2022.

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