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IFC Provides 1.4 billion Baht Local Currency Financing to TA Orange

Bangkok, September 30, 2004 —The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today announced the signing and disbursement of a THB1.4 billion ($33 million) debt financing package to TA Orange, the mobile subsidiary of True Corporation of Thailand, an existing IFC client. TA Orange is the third largest mobile telecommunication operator in Thailand. True Corporation is a leading provider of telecommunications services in Thailand offering fixed line telephone, cable TV, Internet and other multimedia services.
“This project provides IFC with the opportunity to support a domestic company that needs financing in Thai baht,” said IFC Thailand Country Manager Michael Higgins. “IFC wants to encourage strong market players like TA Orange that increase competition and expand infrastructure, especially in rural areas. IFC’s role is important because it promotes environmentally and socially sound project implementation.” Offering local currency loan options is part of IFC’s strategy to offer sustainable financing solutions to clients. The structure of this IFC financing reduces foreign exchange risk for TA Orange.
“Through this project, IFC is supporting an existing client, True Corporation, to consolidate its market position through a critical strategic extension of its existing fixed line business into the fast growing mobile sector” said IFC Director of Global Information and Communication Technologies Mohsen Khalil.  “By enabling TA Orange to restructure and accelerate its network expansion, the project will contribute to the competitiveness of the market, which in turn should broaden access and bring tariffs to affordable levels for consumers.”
“True Corporation appreciates the continuing support from such a respected international organization as IFC. IFC was instrumental in arranging the offshore facility and shares True Corp’s belief in TA Orange’s growth potential” said True Corporation Chief Financial Officer William Harris.
IFC is also supporting a broader financing effort by True to acquire its mobile subsidiary and by TA Orange to fund its long term network expansion and strengthen its capital structure. Globally, an $850 million financing is being provided, consisting of $650 million equivalent provided by local banks lead by Kasikorn Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Krung Thai Bank and Bangkok Bank, and US$200 million equivalent provided by international lenders lead by IFC and KFW.
The mission of IFC ( www.ifc.org ) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.