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Zain Saudi Said to Be in Talks to Refinance $2.5 Billion Loan

Feb. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Mobile Telecommunications Co. of Saudi Arabia, known as Zain Saudi, is in talks with lenders to refinance its $2.5 billion Islamic loan facility that matures in July, two people familiar with the matter said.

The company, 25 percent owned by Mobile Telecommunications Co. of Kuwait, is looking to refinance the loan as it is unable to repay the debt now, one of the people said, declining to be identified because the talks are private. The company has good support from banks and shouldn’t have any problem refinancing the facility, another person said.

A spokesman for Mobile Telecommunications Co. of Kuwait couldn’t be reached for comment when contacted by Bloomberg News today. Reuters reported the refinancing yesterday.

Investors approved a six-month extension of the loan in January. Zain Saudi got the $2.5 billion Murabaha loan from eight banks in August 2009 to finance the company’s network expansion.

The company’s fourth-quarter loss narrowed to 461 million riyals ($123 million) from 521 million riyals in the year-earlier period.

To contact the reporters on this story: Fiona MacDonald in Kuwait at fmacdonald4@bloomberg.net; Stefania Bianchi in Dubai at sbianchi10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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