Nigeria state oil firm borrows $1.5 bln to pay fuel debt -source

LAGOS/GENEVA Mon Jan 7, 2013 11:42am EST

LAGOS/GENEVA Jan 7 (Reuters) - Nigerian state oil firm NNPC has obtained a $1.5 billion syndicated loan to help it pay debts to international fuel traders, a senior banking source with knowledge of the deal said on Monday.

The deal struck at the end of last year is seen as crucial to easing the burden on big commodity traders, who were facing the prospect of painful multi-million dollar write-offs, oil trading sources told Reuters.

The loan, provided by several Nigerian and international banks and brokered by Standard Chartered, will be paid back over five and half years. The NNPC has put up 15,000 barrels per day of its oil production as collateral, the source said.

Standard Chartered and the NNPC declined requests for official comment.

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