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Saudi power utility SEC has signed a $1.5bn five-year “direct commercial financing” agreement with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to help finance the company’s large and growing capacity expansion program.
The new loan takes to $33.2bn the funding SEC has raised since it first tapped international finance markets in 2007 to boost its capital budget. Of this $20bn, 60% of the total, comes from the international finance market, with an unprecedented $13.2bn soft loan coming from the Saudi Ministry of Finance in 2014 in addition to government’s regular long term backing (MEES, 17 July 2015).
The loan from Chinese state bank ICBC also takes SEC’s capital projects fundraising for 2016 to $3.8bn – just half way through the year this already exceeds the previous record of $3.7bn, hit in both 2014 and 2015. So far this year SEC has already secured a $1.4bn loan from Japanese banks and $900mn from a group led by South Korean state financer Kexim (see table). The 2016 total may rise further as SEC seeks a $3.3bn back-up credit facility.
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