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Ahli United Bank and Arab Banking Corporation close senior phase of US$480 million loan for Damietta International Port
 Manama, Bahrain: Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) and Arab Banking Corporation (ABC) (the “Initial Mandated Lead Arrangers”) have successfully closed the senior phase for a US$480 million, 15-year Syndicated Debt Finance Facility for Damietta International Port Company, S.A.E. (“DIPCO”). The loan proceeds will be used to finance 75% of project capital expenditures and capitalisation of interest up to phase one completion date.

AUB and ABC have been joined in the facility by African Development Bank, Banque Misr (BM) and National Bank of Egypt as Mandated Lead Arrangers.

The transaction launched into general syndication on February 4 through ABC and AUB (International Bookrunners) and BM (Local Egyptian Bookrunner).

The Project

DIPCO was incorporated in 2006 with the purpose of executing a 40-year concession to construct, develop and operate a state-of-the-art Greenfield container terminal (the “Terminal”) within the existing Port of Damietta on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, 70 kilometres west of the Mediterranean entrance to the Suez Canal (the “Project”). 

The Project is expected to cost approximately US$650 million and includes (i) capital dredging of port basin, turning circle and access channel, (ii) construction of quay walls, (iii) purchase and installation of equipment, and (iv) development of the Terminal area and container yard. Its estimated handling capacity of 4.0 million TEUs (after second phase completion) will make the Terminal one of the largest trans-shipment facilities in the Mediterranean and one of the few capable of handling the new generation of large containerships. 

About the parties involved

Ahli United Bank

Ahli United Bank B.S.C. is an offshore and full commercial banking institution based in Bahrain providing retail, commercial and investment banking business, global fund management and private banking services. It is geared towards growth through the development of a larger client base in the Gulf states and through its close partnerships with customers staff and product providers. The evolution of future mergers and acquisitions in the Gulf region remains central to the Bank’s expansion strategy. AUB reported a consolidated net profit of US$225.9 million for the nine month period ended 30 September 2007, an increase of 37.5% compared to the same period last year. As of 30 September 2007, total assets for AUB stood at US$ 21.9 billion (31 Dec 2006 – US$20.8 billion).

Arab Banking Corporation

Arab Banking Corporation was incorporated as a Bahrain joint stock company in 1980 by Amiri decree in the Kingdom of Bahrain. ABC’s principal shareholders are the Kuwait Investment Authority, the Central Bank of Libya and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. ABC is listed on the Bahrain stock exchange.

The ABC Group is a leading bank in the Middle East and North Africa and operates as an offshore commercial bank. ABC provides a full range of retail and commercial banking, corporate finance, discretionary fund management, foreign exchange, derivatives, Islamic banking and financial advisory services in the markets in which it offers those services.

ABCs strategy of diversified growth led to the development of its widespread network of branches, representative offices, subsidiaries and affiliates in Arab world countries and international financial centres, including London, Paris, Milan, Frankfurt, New York, Singapore, Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, Egypt, Bahrain, Beirut, Abu Dhabi, Tehran, Amman and Baghdad.
African Development Bank

The ADB Group began operations in Egypt in 1974. To date, its commitments in the country stand at US$2.65 billion in 50 operations. In November 2006, the AfDB supported comprehensive structural and financial reforms initiated by the Government of Egypt with a loan of US$500 million, the highest amount ever approved by the institution for any of its 53 regional member countries

The bank’s private sector window was established in 1991 with the objective of broadening the scope of development assistance to regional member countries in recognition of the important role of the private sector in stimulating economic growth and development.

The bank approved over $1.5 billion in private sector investments in Africa in 2007. This trend is expected to continue and to expand further in 2008 and beyond.

Banque Misr (BM)

Banque Misr was founded in 1920 and ever since has been a leader in the Egyptian banking sector. It is the second oldest and largest bank in Egypt and plays an effective role in Egyptian society. BM is a full fledged bank covering all aspects of commercial banking. The bank led the progress of the Egyptian economy by establishing 26 companies in various sectors including spinning and weaving, insurance, transport, aviation and cinema. BM has continued to support all its activities at a steady pace. Currently the bank holds equity in 135 projects spread across various fields.

BM as a leading bank in the Egyptian market provides the most comprehensive global financial product platforms available today in the banking industry.

As of June 30 2007, BM’s total assets were US$25 billion, loans amounted to almost US$8 billion and net worth to US$2 billion. BM is supported by a strong, widespread network of branches within and outside Egypt.

National Bank of Egypt

National Bank of Egypt (NBE) is the oldest commercial bank in Egypt. It was established on June 25, 1898 with a capital of £1 million. During the 1950s, NBE performed the central bank’s duties. After its nationalization in the 1960s, it acted as a pure commercial bank besides carrying out the functions of the central bank in areas where the latter had no branches.

Thanks to its diversified experience, NBE developed its services and products using state-of-the-art technology to meet its customers’ needs. NBE accounted for 24.6% of Egyptian banking’s total assets, 27.3% of total deposits and 26.2% of total loans and advances. In addition, NBE financed 24% of Egypt’s foreign trade during 2006.

NBE provides various and distinguished saving pools in L.E. and foreign currencies covering the needs of different sections of society. In addition, the bank accounts for 74% of the credit card market and 40% of debit cards.

NBE’s performance is boosted by 401 banking units nationwide. The bank also has an effective international presence through the National Bank of Egypt (UK) Limited, NBE – New York Branch and three representative offices in Johannesburg - South Africa, Shanghai – China and Dubai - UAE. This is in addition to some 1,229 correspondents worldwide mainly in Europe, which is Egypt’s premier commercial partner.



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