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Exim Bank seeks loans to finance China firms
By Patricia Kuo (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-02-09 05:37

Export-Import Bank of China will borrow US$260 million from nine banks to support expanding trade financing and overseas investment by Chinese companies, according to Bank of China, which is arranging the loan.

The bank will sign the loan on February 20, said Wang Tong, Bank of China's head of debt capital markets.

Export-Import Bank had asked for US$200 million, then raised its request 30 per cent after the banks offered US$300 million, Wang said yesterday in Beijing.

Beijing-based Export-Import Bank will pay interest of 0.25 percentage point more than the London interbank offered rate for the loan, the second dollar-syndicated loan since November 2004, Wang said.

The other eight lenders for the US$260 million loan are Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, ING Greop NV, Bank of Montreal, HSBC Holdings Plc, BNP Paribas SA, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd and Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd, Wang said.

Bank of China and its strategic investor, Royal Bank of Scotland, will each lend US$60 million, Wang said. Royal Bank of Scotland, Britain's second-biggest bank, said in August it will join with Merrill Lynch & Co and Li Ka-shing's Foundation to pay US$3.1 billion for 10 per cent of Bank of China.

Export-Import Bank took a US$500 million five-year loan in 2004 arranged by Citigroup Inc, paying an interest margin of 0.35 percentage point, Bloomberg data shows.

Export-Import Bank lent 95.9 billion yuan (US$11.9 billion) of trade financing in the first half of 2005, it said on its website. It raised US$1 billion in July from a 10-year bond issue.

(China Daily 02/09/2006 page5)

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