The majority of the credit risks associated with this project extension would be adequately mitigated by InfraZamin Pakistan’s partial credit risk guarantee cover of PKR 1,575 million (US$7.6 million) on the Digital Infrastructure Facility. This is the first transaction for InfraZamin in Pakistan, and it lays the stage for further market expansion through credit guarantees.
HBL will make it easier for Multinet to obtain 7-Year long-term funding for the purpose of extending their fiber optic network to underserved cities and populations, enabling a wider reach for internet access via fiber for Small and Medium Enterprises, and lowering the cost of carrying broadband traffic from one city to another, improving Pakistan’s cost-effective data and broadband penetration.
In addition to these beneficial effects on growth, the project is anticipated to generate more employment, 20% of which will be reserved particularly for women. In order to guarantee worker protection and safety throughout network deployment, Multinet has also decided to embrace best practices in health and safety standards. To this aim, the company will collaborate on a long-term basis with independent health and safety adviser. To guarantee sustained capacity growth and training in this area, the firm will maintain its engagement with InfraZamin.
Additionally, the project calls for greater corporate governance, disclosure, and transparency norms for Multinet, which is a positive step toward raising governance standards for privately held, unlisted businesses.
Commenting on the occasion, Aamir Irshad, Head Corporate, Commercial & Investment Banking Group – HBL, said, “HBL is a strong advocate for technological advancements and has shown its continued support for the development of digital infrastructure by extending an Infrazamin credit guarantee backed loan facility of PKR 2.1 billion to Multinet. We believe this facility will go a long way in augmenting internet and data access to second and third tier cities of Pakistan along with improving the capacity and quality of internet for Mobile Network Operators, Internet Service Providers, and SMEs.”
Commenting on the occasion, Maheen Rahman, CEO – InfraZamin, said, “The transaction is one step further towards mobilizing investments from the private sector for boosting economic growth and covering the infrastructure gap in frontier markets. We are grateful to HBL Bank for their vision and support throughout this transaction process and look forward to seeing Multinet achieve its business expansion goals. This project caters to Pakistan’s dynamic and growing digital sector and we are happy to lend our support towards realizing Pakistan’s vision towards greater digital access and inclusion.”
Commenting on the occasion, Adnan Asder, CEO – Multinet, said, “IZP credit guarantee facility played an instrumental role in obtaining PKR 2,100 mln long-term loan facility from Habib Bank Limited. The said funding will assist Multinet in doubling its data center capacity, enhancing long-haul network transmission capacity, expanding metro footprint for tower fiberization, and meeting SME’s ICT services requirements. This transaction will help Multinet in achieving its strategic goals by expanding the telecom infrastructure in the country. This would lead to the enhancement of state-of-the-art facilities of fiber infrastructure to the customers and support other stakeholders for 5G inclusion in Pakistan. We are appreciative of InfraZamin for extending their support along with HBL Bank who share a similar vision for the growth of the digital sector in Pakistan”