September 24, 2018 / 11:11 AM / 3 months ago

Emirates Steel hires BNP Paribas to coordinate $400 million loan - sources

DUBAI, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Emirates Steel, the largest steel producer in the United Arab Emirates, has hired BNP Paribas to coordinate a $400 million loan financing, sources familiar with the matter said.

The company, owned by Abu Dhabi’s Senaat, a state-owned investor in the emirate’s industrial sector, will use the loan proceeds to refinance part of its existing debt.

Emirates Steel did not respond to requests for comment. BNP Paribas declined to comment.

Some companies in the Gulf are refinancing their debt obligations ahead of maturity, or adding new leverage to their balance sheets, to avoid having to pay higher debt costs at a later stage due to expected increases in global interest rates.

Emirates Steel has $1.3 billion in outstanding credit facilities it raised in 2014 which are due in 2022.

The $400 million loan, which will be completed before the end of October, will be sharia-compliant, said one source close to the matter, adding other banks expected to participate in the financing included First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Union National Bank.

Senaat, the parent company of Emirates Steel, is also looking at a new financing. Sources told Reuters last year the company had approached banks for a potential debut U.S. dollar sukuk sale.

The sukuk sale is still being considered and the deal will be tied to the $400 million loan for Emirates Steel, said the source close to the matter. “The two deals go hand in hand, it is part of an overall refinancing exercise,” the source said, without elaborating. (Editing by Mark Potter)

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