Zim’s Econet gets lion share of Chinese US$500m loan

ZIM’s biggest telecommunications firm, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, is set to get a bigger share of the Chinese loan the parent company, Econet Global, had negotiated.

In a statement yesteray (Thursday,) Econet Zimbabwe said it would get US$300 million of the US$500 million that Econet Global had negotiated with China Development Bank and Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and systems company ZTE.

The mobile telecoms firm said the loan agreement was announced in South Africa during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit.

Econet Zimbabwe chief executive officer Douglas Mboweni said the loan facility that had been negotiated at group level would help consolidate its market position and also introduce new services.

Having already invested US$1,2 billion in developing its network, Econet – the only independent operator in the country – says it will continue to invest heavily in further expanding its services.

“With this facility, we will take our investment to well over US$1,5 billion. This shows our commitment to our country,” Mboweni said.

He said the deal had been negotiated at group level because that is where the expertise lies to raise this kind of money.

“At our group level, they have developed a lot of expertise to raise large amounts of money when we need it. It is one of our competitive advantages.” – ANA