The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has announced the closing of the general syndication stage of its largest term loan facility to date worth approximately US$1bn.

The size of the two-year, dual tranche facility is set at US$458mn and €406.5mn, after a scale-back by the initial mandated lead arrangers.

A total of 34 banks joined the facility. According to Jean-Louis Ekra, Afreximbank former president, this reflects the confidence which the bank enjoys from its financing partners. “This landmark facility positions Afreximbank to strengthen its support to African businesses through much-needed new investments to help build value addition as we seek to move the continent away from primary products to intermediate manufacturing and to increased processing of export goods,” he says.

Launched into general syndication in May, the facility was initially supported by the Arab Banking Corporation, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Commerzbank, Credit Europe Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, Rand Merchant Bank, HSBC, ICBC (London), Investec Bank, Korea Development Bank, Mizuho Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Standard Bank and Standard Chartered as initial mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners.

They were then joined by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Bank Sohar, China Construction Bank Corporation, Commercial Bank of Kuwait, Doha Bank, The Commercial Bank, Qatar National Bank Paris and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe as mandated lead arrangers.

Commerzbank is the sole co-ordinating bank and documentation agent, while Standard Chartered is the facility agent.

The facility will be used to repay existing debt, with further proceeds being used for trade finance and general corporate purposes.

Afreximbank has also signed a €15mn term sheet facility to Afriland First Bank’s Côte d’Ivoire subsidiary for the financing of SMEs working in the oil and gas, agribusiness and other key growth sectors.

The facility will assist these companies by providing export development finance and developing local firms’ capacities to service big international mining groups operating in the country.