Ivory Coast gets $300 mln loan for refinery from World Bank, SocGen

ABIDJAN Wed Dec 4, 2013 12:25pm EST

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ABIDJAN Dec 4 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast is to borrow up to $300 million from the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Societe Generale (SocGen) to help finance crude oil imports over the next two years for its sole refinery.

The IFC and SocGen will each lend the Societe Ivoirienne de Raffinage (SIR) up to $100 million, the lenders said in separate statements. Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas will also take part in the structured trade facility, to help fund about $2 billion of oil imports.

Ivory Coast is emerging from a decade of political turmoil that saw growth and industry stagnate. GDP growth was 9.8 percent last year after a contraction of 4.7 percent in 2011, when a brief civil war ended the crisis.

The IFC said in a statement the loan facility may help mitigate price spikes that drive up costs for both businesses and households, and also help SIR to regain direct access to the international financial markets.

The 65,000 barrel per day SIR refinery in Ivory Coast's commercial capital Abidjan provides the country with nearly all of its refined petroleum products as well as supplying regional landlocked neighbours including Mali and Burkina Faso.

Oil purchases for the refinery cost more than $200 million a month, and Ivory Coast - the world's No. 1 cocoa producer and French-speaking West Africa's largest economy - has a supply contract with Africa's top oil exporter Nigeria.

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