Trafigura launches US$1.5bn debt facilities in Asia
Commodity trader Trafigura has launched a US$1.5bn package of revolving credit and term loan facilities in Singapore.
The funds will refinance the metals and energy giant’s existing facilities, as well as being used for general corporate purposes. With responses due on August 24, the package will comprise a 365-day revolving credit facility (RCF) and a one-year Chinese offshore spot (CNH) syndicated fund.
ANZ, Bank of China, DBS, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), OCBC and SMBC have been named as original mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) and bookrunners on the RCF and term loans.
CTBC and ICBC, meanwhile, have been named MLAs and active bookrunners on the CNH syndication.
Trafigura is among the sector’s most frequent visitors to Asia’s debt finance markets. It first closed a US$300mn RCF in 2006 and a recent facility, which will now be refinanced, was a US$1.9bn package in September 2017.
In a recent interview with GTR, the company’s head of corporate finance, Laurent Christophe, said that the company will continue to tap Asian markets as the banks there continue to mature.
“We believe that banks in Asia – particularly in Singapore and Japan – are very sophisticated in the products they offer. Trade finance has been a product offering for a long time, but they’ve now developed expertise in capital markets, and areas beyond that,” he said.
The trading house made headlines in November with an innovative inventory securitisation programme, which was funded mainly by Asian banks. The programme combined receivables finance, structured commodity finance, asset finance, supply chain finance and securitisation and was worth US$470mn.
It saw Trafigura Commodities Funding, as the programme is known, issue notes which were placed on a private basis with the banks involved. The proceeds of these notes were used to buy crude oil and refined metals.
It was seen as a way of maximising access to finance, at a time when some of Trafigura’s erstwhile competitors have become overleveraged.take me back