CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Kuwait's Zain says finalises $800 mln, five-year loan facility

Tue Mar 4, 2014 11:31am EST

(Corrects to show Crédit Agricole was coordinator on loan facility)

DUBAI, March 4 (Reuters) - Kuwait's Zain has finalised an $800 million, five-year loan facility from 11 banks, the telecommunications operator said on Tuesday.

Zain, which has operations in eight countries in the Middle East and Africa including Sudan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, said it originally planned to raise $600 million, but increased the facility's size because of what it described as an "exceptionally strong response from banks".

The money will be used for general corporate purposes, Zain said.

Its amortising structure will involve Zain repaying both interest and principal during the lifetime of the loan, as opposed to a bullet facility where it would only pay interest during the tenure, sources familiar with the deal said.

Crédit Agricole acted as coordinator on the facility. It and the 10 other banks on the deal were arrangers, Zain said.

Participating lenders from the Middle East were National Bank of Abu Dhabi, National Bank of Kuwait, Samba Financial Group, Al Khalij Commercial Bank , Arab Bank, Arab Banking Corp and Union National Bank.

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Royal Bank of Scotland and Natixis were the other contributing banks.

Zain has an existing $867 million debt facility maturing in March. (Reporting by Matt Smith; Editing by Andrew Torchia, David Holmes and Louise Heavens)

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