STC’s Viva in $133m deal to upgrade and expand Kuwait network

Kuwaiti operator Viva is to borrow the equivalent of $133 million to upgrade its network.

The five-year-deal, for 40 million Kuwaiti dinars, is with Boubyan Bank and includes a Murabaha facility, which conforms with Islamic custom.

According to Reuters, Boubyan Bank is a financial institution that provides banking and investment services in accordance to the Islamic Sharia principles through a network branches across Kuwait.

“This strategic partnership with Boubyan Bank is a robust ground to further expand and develop Viva’s operations by investing in its network and its high quality of services, products and technical solutions,” said Viva’s CEO, Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Badran.

The deal marks the tenth anniversary of the foundation of the company, which is quoted on the Kuwaiti stock exchange but is majority controlled by Saudi Arabia’s STC.

Viva has 2.4 million customers and has revenues of over $900 million a year, on which it makes profits of over $130 million a year. The company started in 2008 as the third operator in the market.

Al Badran said: “Our strong competition in the Kuwaiti telecom market through meeting our customers’ aspirations and ambitions, proves our leadership and promotes our capability to deliver the best.”

Boubyan Bank CEO Adel Abdulwahab Al-Majed said the deal will “help fund the company’s expansion plans and reflect positively on the company’s clients and help achieve the company’s domestic expansion targets”.

He added: “Over the past years, Boubyan Bank succeeded in achieving remarkable growth rates in its corporate credit portfolio by attracting a number of operational companies known for their financial and economic creditworthiness while continuing to maintain the highest standards of credit quality, studying and diversifying risks.”