Reliance Jio raises $750M in debt from Korean firm K-Sure to enable 4G roll-out
Reuters | Photo Credit: Mukesh Ambani

Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJIL), the telecom arm of Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), has signed up for a $750 million (around Rs 4,815 crore) loan, backed by export credit agency Korea Trade Insurance Corp (K-Sure), according to a press statement.

The funding will primarily be used to finance goods and services procured from two of its main vendors—Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd and Ace Technologies Corp—for its ongoing network roll-out under its fourth-generation (4G) telecom licence in India.

The loan facility has a door-to-door tenor of 12 years, including a two-year availability period of a 10-year repayment period thereafter.

For K-Sure, it is the first facility with Reliance Jio and second facility with the Reliance Group. It is also its largest deal in India.

The facility is guaranteed by RIL and funded by nine relationship banks of RIL, including Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd, Banco Santander SA, Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp Ltd (HSBC), Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, Mizuho Bank Ltd and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, ING Bank and DZ Bank AG.

This is also the second round of financing for Reliance Jio from Korean export credit agencies (ECAs) and third overall for the group, it said in the statement.

In October last year, Reliance Jio had raised a $750 million loan from Korea Exim Bank to finance the purchase of telecoms infrastructure from Samsung. Then in November, Reliance Jio said it will raise $1.5 billion from 26 banks to refinance loans taken in 2010 and guaranteed by the parent company.

Reliance Jio bought 4G airwaves in 2010 in an auction by the government, but is yet to launch the services. The company is also the first telecom operator to hold a pan-India unified licence that authorises the company to provide all telecommunication services other than satellite telephony.

Reliance Jio is launching 4G voice and data services across 22 telecommunication circles in India under the 2300 MHz band of spectrum.

The company last year signed a master services agreement for tower sharing with Indus Towers. Indus, which is the largest tower company in the world, is a joint venture company of Bharti Group, Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Group. It had also inked pact with GTL Infra for more than 27,800 towers across India, and also with Viom Networks for its 42,000 towers.

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