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December 14, 2008

Indonesia mobile firm borrows $214m to expand network
Indonesia's third-largest mobile phone operator, PT Excelcomindo Pratama Tbk has borrowed $214 million from Dutch bank ABN AMRO and Standard Chartered for capital expenditure, reported Reuters.

The firm, majority owned by Telecom Malaysia, said the $214 million facility would be used to buy goods from Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson.

Excelcom has already revised up its capital expenditure for 2008 to $1.25 billion from an earlier figure of $1 billion. The money is earmarked for network upgrades as the number of subscribers increases.

Analysts have predicted that the number of mobile phone subscribers in Indonesia would soar to 120 million by the end of 2008, from some 90 million last year.

However, Hasnul Suhaimi, Excelcom's president director, warned last month that the firm may miss its subscriber target this year because of the economic slowdown.

Telecom Malaysia controls 83.79 percent of Excelcom while Emirates Telecommunications Corp holds a 15.97 percent stake in the Indonesian company.

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