By Saikat Das
India’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. is in talks to raise a loan for about $1.6 billion to fund the purchase of equipment from Nokia Oyj, according to people familiar with the matter.
Banks involved in the discussions with billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s telecoms company include Citigroup Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., said the people, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. The loan will likely have a maturity of as much as 15 years and will be priced over the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, they said.
As the deal hasn’t yet been finalized, the lineup of banks and the terms may still change.
Finland’s export credit agency, Finnvera, will issue guarantees covering the majority of the loan, they said.
Nokia announced last October that it had clinched an agreement to supply Jio with equipment for its 5G rollout in India. Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. was first out of the starting blocks to offer 5G in India, after investing billions of dollars to acquire the airwaves.
JPMorgan, Citibank and HSBC declined to comment.
A Nokia spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg about the loan talks, as did Finnvera.
A representative of Reliance Industries declined to comment.