Israel's Ratio Oil refinances bank debt with new $650 million loan

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israel's Ratio Oil Exploration RATIp.TA said on Monday it refinanced its bank debt with a new seven-year dollar loan of $650 million.

The loan, bearing interest of LIBOR plus 3.5%, is provided by a consortium of eight banks, including HSBC Plc, BNP Paribas, ING Bank NV, Natixis, Société Générale, Nedbank, Mizrahi Tefahot, and Hapoalim.

Ratio is planning to withdraw $480 million in the first stage, which it will use to repay a $450 million loan it took to fund the company’s share in the development of the first stage of the Leviathan natural gas field off Israel’s Mediterranean coast.

It will use the remaining loan for the future development of Leviathan, which started production at the end of 2019.

Reporting by Tova Cohen, editing by Louise Heavens