BANKS LAUNCH RECORD EURO-DENOMINATED ‘JUNK’ BOND
The Italian telecom operator Wind plans to sell bonds valued at EUR2.5 billion as part of a broader EUR6.6 billion refinancing that will include USD1 billion of bonds in dollars. FT writes that the deal – the largest-ever euro-dominated high yield or “junk” bond deal – signifies the development of the European market as companies explore funding schemes beyond traditional bank lending.
LEBANON NOT UP TO TELECOM SPEED
Both of Lebanon’s mobile operators, Alfa and MTC Touch, are state-run and charge some of the region’s highest rates for what many consider to be underdeveloped services. Since becoming one of the first Arab countries to introduce Internet and mobile phone services in the mid-1990s, the country’s telecom and IT sector have become more monopolized, despite liberalization efforts. A 2010 survey of connectivity in the Arab world by the Arab Advisors Group ranked Lebanon below the regional average.