Cell Finance

Sept 24, 2007 (LBO) – International Finance Corporation, the private sector financing arm of the World Bank inked a 100 million financing deal Monday with Sri Lanka’s biggest mobile phone operator, Dialog Telekom. Washington-based IFC will lend 70 million dollars in debt, while the balance will be used to buy shares from Dialog’s parent company, Telekom Malaysia, officials said.

“Our investment in Dialog is the largest we have ever made here, where we currently have an exposure of just over 90 million dollars in telecoms, ports, financial services and power,” IFCs Country Manager for Sri Lanka, Gilles Galludec told reporters.

IFC is planning to invest around 200 million dollars in Sri Lanka within the next two years mostly to help Sri Lankan companies who are in the process of expanding overseas.

“We are bullish on investments in infrastructure activities,” Gilles said.

As part of Monday’s deal, Telekom Malaysia sold 1.6 percent of their 89 percent stake in Dialog to IFC for 15 million dollars.

“We have signed call up agreement with IFC which allow IFC to buy another 15 million dollars worth of shares from us at a future date,” said Telekom Malaysia’s Yusof Annuar Yaacob.