Cambodian telecommunications firm CamGSM (Cellcard) has secured $70m (€64m) through a bond issue with GuarantCo guarantee to invest in its infrastructure expansion.

GuarantCo has provided the guarantee to support the bond which has been fully subscribed by institutional investors Manulife and Prudential Cambodia, and finance from Deutsche Bank.

The capital from the bond and loan will be used by Cellcard to build new 4G towers, upgrade existing equipment to be more energy efficient and ready the network for faster 5G internet.

GuarantCo is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group, a donor-backed organisation that encourages private sector infrastructure investment in the world’s lowest-income countries.

Layth Al-Falaki, CEO at GuarantCo, said: “We are delighted to close our first telecommunication transaction in Asia and third transaction in Cambodia from which many local people and businesses will benefit due to the improved quality of telecommunication services.”

Simon Perkins, CEO of CamGSM, said: “The CamGSM’s sustainability bond and secured financing will support projects aiming to alleviate climate change-related risks with investment in renewable energy and provide connectivity to the underserved population.

“The $70m funds, as guaranteed by GuarantCo, will be allocated strategically, enhancing the network and infrastructure capabilities, as well as investing in environment-friendly products and initiatives aimed at serving the underserved communities.”

May Lin, CFO at Manulife Cambodia, said: “Manulife Cambodia is pleased to be the main investor in the CamGSM sustainability bond guaranteed by GuarantCo that supports projects relating to digital connectivity, energy efficiency, and those that are aimed at alleviating climate change-related risks.

“Such investments align with Manulife’s Impact Agenda, a framework that guides our efforts and decisions in building a business to better the world.”

Freddie Wong, chief actuary at Prudential Cambodia, said the investment “underscores our steadfast belief in the power of collaboration and shared vision to embark on this journey to mobilise resources, drive meaningful impact, and demonstrates our unwavering dedication to building a resilient and sustainable Cambodia for generations to come”.

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