Qatar Telecom Said to Get 14 Banks for $1 Billion Loan Facility

Qatar Telecom QSC, the country’s biggest company by revenue, is said to have received commitments from 14 banks for a $1 billion syndicated loan it’s raising to refinance existing debt.

Qtel, as the Doha-based company is known, is expected to sign the four-year facility by the end of March and is currently finalizing the deal’s documentation, according to two people with direct knowledge of the deal, who asked not to be identified as the transaction is private.

The company is arranging the loan itself and had requested proposals from banks for a $1 billion loan maturing in three, four and five years, a person with knowledge of the deal said Nov. 19. Qtel decided not to reduce the facility even after a $1 billion bond issue last month, the people said.

A spokesman for Qtel, who asked not to be named citing company policy, said it does not comment on market speculation.

The company is rated A2 by Moody’s Investors Service, the sixth-highest investment grade. Qtel has “substantial headroom” to borrow more and remain at its current grade after net debt reduced in the second half of 2012 faster than Moody’s projected, the rating company said last month.

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