KUALA LUMPUR: OCK Group Bhd, which in December inked a deal with Telenor Myanmar Ltd to build 920 telecommunications towers in Myanmar, has clinched a syndicated term loan facility of up to US$40.2mil (RM163.9mil) for the project.

The telecommunications network service provider said in a statement that its unit OCK Yangon Pte Ltd had signed the agreement for the facility in Yangon with four Myanmar incorporated banks -- OCBC Bank Yangon branch, Malayan Banking Bhd Yangon branch, United Overseas Bank Ltd Yangon branch and Bangkok Bank Public Co Ltd Yangon branch.

OCBC Bank is one of the joint mandated lead arrangers as well as the facility agent and offshore security agent for the US$40.2mil syndicated loan facility.

"The syndicated facility is one of the largest syndicated loans by onshore foreign banks since the Myanmar financial sector was opened to foreign banks in 2015," OCK said.

It was reported that OCK planned to invest about US$75mil (RM305.6mil) to deliver the 920 telecommunications towers to Teleno this year under a long-term "build and lease" business model.

OCK group managing director Sam Ooi said the financing received from the banks was a testimony of their confidence in the company's telecommunication tower business.

"We continuously seek to expand regionally, which is part of our mission in building OCK to become an Asean Tower Company. The telecommunication industry in Myanmar has grown tremendously over the past few years, and it still presents enormous growth opportunities in view of the growing demand for more telecommunication towers.," he said.

U Win Thaw, director general of the Foreign Exchange Management Department of Central Bank Myanmar, said: "The Central Bank of Myanmar has granted 13 licenses to foreign banks starting with nine foreign banks in 2014. The foreign banks have shown full commitment to facilitate the development of businesses in Myanmar, and today marks a special occasion as four of the nine initial foreign banks are extending a US$40.2mil syndicated loan to OCK."

Source: The Star