The Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) has announced the closing of a US$1.8bn pre-export finance facility to fund the 2016/17 cocoa crop.

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Deutsche Bank, Natixis, Nedbank, Rabobank, Société Générale and Standard Chartered acted as co-ordinating initial mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) and bookrunners.

DZ Bank also acted as bookrunner and Ghana International Bank as initial MLA on the receivables-backed facility.

Bank of China, Crédit Agricole CIB, Intesa SanPaolo, Rand Merchant Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, ABN Amro and KfW Ipex-Bank joined the facility as senior MLAs ahead of the launch of general syndication on June 7.

This is three banks fewer than last year: Barclays, HSBC, Commerzbank, Qatar National Bank and Standard Bank have left the consortium, while Bank of China and Rabobank have joined it.

Sources in the market tell GTR that the Cocobod facility is no longer considered lucrative, and that returns have been disappointing, which could explain the withdrawal of the six banks, including some that had been involved consistently for many years.

Cocobod’s bank presentation will take place on June 16 in London.