IFC says to support new tower company in Philippines with $70 million financing

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 04 2022 10:34 AM

MANILA — The International Finance Corp on Thursday said it arranged a $70 million (P3.9 billion) financing package for the tower company Communication and Renewable Energy Infrastructure (CREI) Phils Inc to help boost affordable and better mobile connectivity in the Philippines.

The financing deal includes the $25.5 million loan from IFC and a parallel facility of $44.5 million, IFC said in a statement.

“By supporting the entry of a new company, IFC’s investment will contribute to a strong independent tower market in the Philippines, increasing competition, creating jobs, spurring economic growth and help cut emissions," IFC Country Manager for the Philippines Jean-Marc Arbogast said. 

CREI Phils is a new tower company and IFC said its investments would allow the new player to fund the construction of over 600 new towers by next year.

The fund will also help increase the mobile network capacity in the country which would result in better services at affordable rates, it said. 

Towers developed by CREI Phils will be shared under an open-access basis, IFC said. 

Based on the 2020 Global Digital Overview, the number of internet users in the country has more than tripled to 73 million from 23 million in 2010. However, network congestion contributes to the decline in the quality of connectivity.

“Despite the challenging market conditions triggered by the pandemic, IFC’s long-term funding will allow us to meet our ambitions of expanding our digital infrastructure portfolio in the Philippines," CREI CEO Kadri Hakim said. 

The government has been pushing for the use of common towers and the entry of tower companies is in line with the goal of building 50,000 telco infrastructure in the next few years. 

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