March 24, 2016 / 3:36 PM / 3 years ago

Trafigura clinches $5.1 billion loan as trading grows

LONDON (Reuters) - Swiss commodities trader Trafigura has signed a $5.1 billion European revolving credit facility aimed at financing its growing operations.

Trafigura logo is pictured in the company entrance in Geneva March 11, 2012. . REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Trafigura, which reported in December an annual profit of $1.1 billion as it racked up record oil trading volumes, also said on Thursday it had closed a 46 million yen ($413 million) three-year loan, almost doubling the size of its 2014 Samurai Loan.

Trading houses require large credit lines in order to finance shipments of commodities such as oil, gas and metals. Trafigura’s 2015 profits were boosted by a 17 percent increase in the volume of commodities traded by its main divisions - oil and metals - to 198.4 million tonnes.

Trafigura said the European multi-currency syndicated revolving credit facilities includes a $1.91 billion 364-day revolving credit facility with two 364-day extension options, and a $3.19 billion 3-year revolving credit facility with two 1-year extension options.

While revenues for traders such as Trafigura, Gunvor and Vitol fell following the sharp drop in oil prices since mid-2014, profits have been shielded by strong trading and storage operations as well as refining.

“We’ve met our target of raising collectively over USD 5.5 billion at a tighter price, a more than adequate sum to finance company operations in current market conditions,” Trafigura Chief Financial Officer Christophe Salmon said in a statement

The credit facility was underwritten by Lloyds, Societe General, UniCredit and ING Bank.

Reporting by Ron Bousso; Editing by Mark Potter

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