(MENAFN – Khaleej Times) Emirates NBD, National Bank of Oman and three European banks have helped Uralsib Bank, Russia’s biggest privately owned lender, get a loan of $313 million (Dh1.15 billion) from a group of 32 banks for its trade finance business.

The money will be lent to industrial companies in Russia, according to Alexander Dementiev, the deputy chairman of management board, Uralsib Bank. “It will be used solely for lending purposes,” he said yesterday.

Emirates NBD, meanwhile, may arrange syndicated loans of between $10 billion (Dh36.7 billion) and $15 billion (Dh55.1 billion) by the second half of the year for financial institutions and companies seeking funds for expansion projects.

This according to Abdul Wahed Al Fahim, the general manger for wholesale banking at Emirates NBD, the country’s biggest bank by assets. “We are working on this at the moment,” he said, stressing that the bank is seeing “good growth” for the next 6-12 months.

He said the annual profit growth at the bank’s wholesale banking division, which contributes 60 per cent of Emirates NBD‘s overall assets, would surpass the 30 per cent rise allotted for 2008.

The three European banks that also helped Moscow-based Uralsib get the 364-day loan include Bayerische Landesbank, ING Wholesale Banking and Credit Suisse Group AG. The loan pays one percentage point over the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and was raised from the original size of $150 million (Dh551 million), the lead managers said in a statement.

LIBOR is a daily reference rate for interest being offered by banks in lending unsecured funds to other banks in the London wholesale money market.

The lead managers said 32 banks from 19 countries extended the loan to Uralsib. The banks in Europe and the US provided 68 per cent of the loan while 28 per cent came from the Middle East and four per cent from Asia.

Dementiev said Uralsib is also planning to raise another $500 million (Dh1.84 billion) from a bond sale later this year with a three- to five-year tenor.

He added that 19 per cent of the bank’s borrowing comes from foreign lenders while the rest is from its local sources in Russia. Trade finance contributes over $2 billion (Dh7.35 billion) or 10 per cent of Uralsib’s total assets.

He stressed that Uralsib took “conscientious effort” to build good relations with the Gulf region through Emirates NBD. “One good partner will bring many others,” he said.

Last March Uralsib said it got a one-year loan of $290 million (Dh1.1 billion) after an announcement in February that it sought $100 million (Dh367.3 million) to boost trade finance with Asia. Emirates NBD and India’s ICICI Bank Ltd arranged the borrowing, which paid 0.6 percentage point more than benchmark rates.



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