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LAHORE: VEDA Transit Solutions (Pvt.) Ltd has signed a financing agreement for a Rs 2,600 million term loan from a syndicate of banks led by the Bank of Punjab as Mandated Lead Advisor & Arranger. Samba Bank Limited, Askari Bank Limited, Bank Alfalah Limited and JS Bank Limited will act as co-arrangers for this transaction.

Lahore Metro Bus is a critical infrastructure project of the city and over time it has turned out to be the backbone of transportation network of the city. The project has not only provided affordable and reliable mass transit to the city residents but has also eased traffic congestion and resulting pollution. After its inauguration in March 2013, the first contract for operating metro buses was awarded by the Punjab Masstransit Authority (PMA) to a Turkish Company for eight years. However, for the 2nd term, VEDA Transit Solutions has been selected by PMA through a competitive bidding process.

VEDA commenced its operations in 2017, initially as a joint venture between Raaziq Group, Transit Associated and Pakistan Catalyst Fund (JS Bank + USAID) for operating Multan Metro Bus Feeder Project. Over the years, VEDA has gained expertise of operating metro buses and will now be managing the Lahore Metro Bus system for the next eight years.

The Bank of Punjab has also financed the first metro bus procurement for the Turkish operator back in 2013. Now the bank has again played a lead role in the second round which reflects its strong position in arranging structured financing solutions for its clients.—PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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