Airtel receives $2.5-bn financing commitments from China's CDC, ICBC

Bharti Airtel has freceived financing commitments of up to $2.5 billion from China Development Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

The telecom operator can draw these funds over a long availability period, depending on its financing requirements and subject to final agreements and requisite approvals. 

The term sheets were signed in the presence of Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, who is currently on an official visit to China.

''We are pleased to sign these agreements as part of the growing economic cooperation between India and China. It is an endorsement of the long-term potential of the Indian telecom sector. Given the availability period of three years, these financings shall further add to the financial flexibility that the company already has,'' said Rajan Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises.

''These shall further extend tenors, enabling investments for furtherance of the Digital India initiative,'' he added.

China Development Bank has committed financing of up to $2 billion with an average maturity of about nine years. This is the single-largest bilateral commitment by China Development Bank to any telecom operator globally and the largest bilateral commitment to a private Indian company.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has committed $500 million with an average life of about nine years, making it the largest and longest bilateral commitment to an Indian telecom operator.

These financing options will allow the Company to diversify its global financing pool and access funds to invest in the growth of data networks across its global operations.

In March 2015, Bharti Airtel had announced a strategic collaboration with China Mobile, under which, the two companies will work towards the growth of the LTE ecosystem and evolving mobile technology standards. Bharti Airtel also has network equipment sourcing agreements with ZTE and Huawei. These financings further compliment the strong collaboration with Chinese partners.