HSBC has signed a US$24mn medium-term facility to finance telecommunications equipment and systems to Iraq-based mobile operator Asiacell.

Nokia Siemens Networks will provide Asiacell with the equipment, which will expand and upgrade Asiacell’s network in several different areas of Iraq.

The deal is insured by Germany’s export credit agency (ECA) Euler Hermes and marks Asiacell’s first ever ECA-supported financing, as well as the first ECA financing into Iraq since the 1980’s.

Commenting on the deal, Simon Lee, director in HSBC’s project and export finance team says: “Iraq has a substantial infrastructure development requirement and ECA financing will be a very important part of the associated financing needs. This Euler Hermes-supported financing emphasises yet again the continued importance and attraction of medium and long-term ECA-supported finance to Middle Eastern borrowers for the financing of capital expenditure.”