OCK secures US$40m loan to construct 920 telco towers in Myanmar

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 28): OCK Group Bhd has secured a US$40.2 million (RM163.8 million) loan in Myanmar to help finance the construction of 920 telecommunications towers in the country.

In a statement today, the telecommunications network service provider said its wholly-owned subsidiary OCK Yangon Pte Ltd signed the syndicated term loan agreement with the Yangon branches of OCBC Bank Ltd, Malayan Banking Bhd, United Overseas Bank Ltd and Bangkok Bank Plc.

OCK managing director Sam Ooi said the financing received from the banks is a testimony of their confidence in the group's telecommunication tower business.

"We continuously seek to expand regionally, which is part of our mission in building OCK to become an Asean tower company.

"The telecommunication industry in Myanmar has grown tremendously over the past few years, and it still presents enormous growth opportunities in view of the growing demand for more telecommunication towers," he added.

In December 2015, OCK and its Myanmar partner, King Royal Technologies Co Ltd, signed a master services agreement with Telenor Myanmar Ltd resulting in OCK becoming a tower company for Telenor in the country.

Telenor operates the largest 3G network in Myanmar.

The syndicated loan given to OCK is one of the largest by onshore foreign banks since the Myanmar financial sector was opened to foreign banks in 2015.

Myanmar Central Bank's foreign exchange management department director-general U Win Thaw said the central bank has granted 13 licences to foreign banks, starting with nine foreign banks in 2014.

"The foreign banks have shown full commitment to facilitate the development of businesses in Myanmar, and today marks a special occasion for four of the nine initial foreign banks to extend a US$40.2 million syndicated loan to OCK," he was quoted as saying in the OCK statement.

OCK's share price rose 0.5 sen or 0.63% to close at 80.5 sen today with 1.72 million shares traded. Its market capitalisation is RM633.8 million.