The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s (AIIB) Board of Directors has approved up to US$239.2-million in senior debt to develop communications infrastructure that will help Oman shift its economy away from a reliance on the export of hydrocarbons.
AIIB’s loan for the construction and operation of the first phase of a nationwide fiber broadband network–the Oman Broadband Company’s Oman Broadband Infrastructure Project–will reinforce the foundation of the country’s National Broadband Strategy, which is focused on building communications infrastructure accessible to telecommunication companies and wholesale users.
“This non-sovereign debt investment is a great example of AIIB’s increasing capacity to independently structure financing in innovative ways,” said AIIB Vice President and Chief Investment Officer D.J. Pandian. “In addition, the loan will be partially syndicated and will demonstrate AIIB’s ability to introduce private investors to new markets and new project types to support the development of vital national infrastructure. Not only will the new broadband infrastructure support local families and businesses, we’re confident it will increase Oman’s attractiveness as a designation for manufacturing businesses and strategic logistics services.”
AIIB’s investment will support phase one of the project which will focus on Muscat and other urban areas. Phase one will see the rollout of fiber optical broadband cable to approximately 406,000 residences and businesses by the end of 2021. Upon completion of phase one, 80% of Muscat will be fiber-ready for connection with gigabit-capable optical networks.
This is AIIB’s first stand-alone non-sovereign-backed limited recourse financing that involves mobilization of private capital through syndication.
Additional information and the project’s Environmental and Social Management Plan can be found at https://www.aiib.org.