Japan's JBIC, SMBC provide finance for Angola-Brazil underwater cable
LUANDA, March 31 (Reuters) - The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) said on Thursday it had signed a loan agreement with Angola's state-run development bank to finance the construction of an optical submarine cable system between Angola and Brazil.
"This project will lay the world's first optical submarine cable across the South Atlantic, directly linking the African continent to South America," JBIC said in a statement.
"The optical submarine cable is then planned to be linked to the U.S.-bound submarine cable under construction at the landing station in Brazil, building a vast communications network spanning from Angola to North America via South America."
The 6,200 km (3,850 mile) system will be manufactured and laid by NEC Corp (NEC) on behalf of Angola Cables S.A, an Angolan telecom operator.
JBIC said the $109.7 million loan will be co-financed with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC). Of that, JBIC will provide $65.8 million, SMBC the rest.
Oil-rich Angola, Africa's third-largest economy, and Brazil are both Portuguese-speaking and have close cultural and economic links. (Reporting by Herculano Coroado; Writing by Ed Stoddard; Editing by Lrry King)
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