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IFC Invests $70 Million to Support TIM Peru’s Cellular Expansion in Peru

Washington, D.C., June 12, 2003— The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has invested $70 million in TIM Peru S.A.C., the mobile subsidiary of Telecom Italia group in Peru. This is the largest investment for IFC’s own account in Peru, and the first in the country’s telecommunications sector.
IFC’s investment will help TIM Peru continue its expansion plans in order to extend coverage and provide a high quality communication network to its customers throughout Peru. TIM Peru will introduce new value added services (such as SMS text messaging) for mobile telephony and target those local companies, which will benefit greatly from specialized services.
TIM Peru acquired its license through a transparent auction in May 2000 and launched service in January 2001, as the third national cellular operator. The company offers mobile services in the 1900 MHz frequency, based on GSM technology. At the end of year 2002, after almost two years of operation, the company has reached 395,000 Subscribers, equivalent to a 17% market share. Revenues for 2002 were $88 million, and the Company had a Paid-in Capital of around $382 million. As of 1Q 2003, TIM Peru had 436,000 subscribers, equivalent to a market share of 17.5%  TIM Peru is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Telecom Italia Mobile S.p.A., Italy’s largest mobile telecommunications operator with over with 40,2 million (as of 1Q ’03) mobile lines in Europe and Latin America. TIM is a publicly traded company, majority owned and controlled by Telecom Italia, Italy’s main telecommunications operator.
Mohsen Khalil, Director of IFC's Global Information and Communications Technology Department, said: “IFC is pleased to support a company which is expected to play a key role in promoting further competition in the Peruvian telecommunications market and bring additional services to the country.  The prepaid cards being introduced by TIM Peru have been credited for fueling growth in the cellular market, extending the reach of service to limited income consumers and rural areas.”
Bernard Pasquier, IFC’s Director of the Latin America and Caribbean Department, noted: “This investment fits in IFC strategy to foster competitiveness in Peru and promote direct investment in the telecom sector, thus providing clear benefits to the Peruvian population. This financing shows IFC's commitment to a broad spectrum of private sector initiatives in Latin America.”  
Telecom Italia appreciated this first opportunity of a long-term financial cooperation between IFC and TI subsidiaries in developing countries. The ability of IFC to provide long term loan maturities, designed to match the capital expenditure requirements of telecom projects in countries where they would be unavailable, could foster the growth of TI’s companies in emerging markets.
IFC's committed portfolio in Peru stood at $216 million of own funds as of end-April.  Participants banks’ commitments totaled $73 million. IFC’s strategy in the country has been focused in supporting the development of a strong private sector, while enhancing competitiveness and employment creation. Areas of investment include the financial sector and infrastructure, as well as the promotion of direct investment in sectors such as manufacturing, telecom, tourism, agribusiness, and natural resources with special attention to commercially oriented environmental projects.
IFC's mission ( ) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries and transition economies, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives.  IFC finances private sector investments in the emerging markets, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.  Since its founding in 1956, IFC has committed more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged $21 billion in syndications for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's committed portfolio at the end of FY02 was $15.1 billion.
The Telecom Italia Group ( ) serves over 50 million individuals and 3 million businesses. Drawing upon over a century of business experience, the Group supplies the work and lifestyle tools of the future. The Group companies have created broadband, wireline and wireless networks to carry innovative services, complex ICT solutions, multimedia messaging, mobile business solutions, e-government products and on line banking.
TIM, Telecom Italia Group´s most internationally-oriented business unit, is a leading technological innovator. Supplying 25.7 million lines to its domestic market at 31 March 2003, TIM operates Europe´s single largest GSM network in terms of numbers of lines and is the domestic leader in Italy. TIM spearheads the Group's international presence though the provision of more than 14,5 million mobile lines worldwide, with a focus in South America. TIM has launched the first GSM service in Brazil, connecting over 80 cities. It represents a further step toward the first South America network. TIM has interests in companies in Greece, the Czech Republic and Turkey, where it has launched a GSM 1800 service. TIM also holds UMTS licence in Greece. The focus for the future is on wireless telephony, especially in Latin America where TIM is building the first Pan American GSM network.