BIO’s first investment in Myanmar

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05.01.2016
BIO is extending a USD 12.2 million long-term senior loan to Irrawaddy Green Towers ltd (IGT) in Myanmar, for installing and operating mobile telecommunication towers. The total investment, arranged by the Dutch development finance institution FMO, amounts to 122m US-dollars. Other European development finance institutions such as CDC Group (Great Britain), PROPARCO (France), OeEB (Austria) and DEG (Germany) are further investors.

In 2014 only 14 % of the approximately 51 million inhabitants of Myanmar had access to mobile telecommunication services. The country’s objective is to substantially increase this share. In Myanmar, IGT will build a mobile telecommunication tower network consisting of at least 2,000 towers, thus providing coverage to approximately 14 million people. Mainly in rural areas this can provide a significant stimulus for economic development, i.e. by improving access to mobile financial services and service offers.

Since its foundation, IGT has created 320 direct jobs. Another 1,000 indirect jobs will be created in relation to the erection and operation of the towers. The company offers a comprehensive range of training and qualification programs for its staff and, in doing so, provides an important contribution to the transfer of technical and economic know-how. The expansion of the mobile sector is also intended to improve the framework conditions for foreign investments and has a great development impact. The development of the necessary infrastructure for a countrywide mobile network is supported by private operators such as IGT. The company, which was founded in 2014, intends to invest a total amount of USD 230m in the near term.

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