UK's Stemcor secures $1.15 bln loan, sees steel trading boost

LONDON, March 21 Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:14am EDT

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LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) - Stemcor has secured a new $1.15 billion syndicated loan that the UK-based steel trader expects will breath new life into its trading activity, which fell sharply after the company defaulted on an $850 million loan last year.

The loan comes after the privately owned firm won UK court approval last month to restructure its billion dollar debt and borrow the extra funds up to December 2015.

Stemcor's lenders include ABN AMRO, HSBC, ING, Natixis and Societe Generale.

Like many steel firms, Stemcor was hit hard by the global financial crisis, and remains under pressure to sell its iron ore assets in India in order to repay its more than $1 billion debts.

Regarding the recent loan, Stemcor said it has been provided on a committed basis, whereby banks sign contracts to provide funding for a period and so can not withdraw it during that time.

"Thanks to the overwhelming support of our banks, we now have a strong platform from which we can increase our trading capability. Today represents a major turning point for Stemcor," said chief executive Julian Verden in a statement. (Reporting by Maytaal Angel; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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