Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) has for the 25th time signed its annual pre-export financing (PXF) facility, this year worth US$1.3bn.

Proceeds from the 11-month receivables-backed syndicated loan will help Cocobod meet its financing needs for the 2017/2018 cocoa crop. The loan value is down US$500mn from the US$1.8bn is has been in the past two years.

According to Cocobod, the “transaction again achieved a successful syndication and closed significantly oversubscribed”. It was signed on September 20 in Paris.

The facility is fully underwritten and will be structured similarly to previous Cocobod annual trade facilities. It is priced at 65 basis points (bps) above Libor, a decrease from the 67.5bps offered last year.

Rabobank, Crédit Agricole, Natixis, Standard Bank and SMBC were the co-ordinating mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) and bookrunners, while Ghana International Bank was the initial MLA, as it is every year (as announced by GTR in June).

The arrangers were joined subsequently in general syndication by Bank of China, BTMU, Commerzbank, DZ Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Intesa Sanpaolo, Rand Merchant Bank, Société Générale, Standard Chartered and ABN Amro as senior mandated lead arrangers; Nedbank and State Bank of India as lead arrangers; Barclays and KfW Ipex-Bank as arrangers; and finally Afrasia Bank, Attijarawafa Bank, Ecobank and Federated Investors as lead managers.

The facility also includes a provision for the redrawing from April to May 2018 for the light crop.