French satellite operator Eutelsat has received a US$272mn loan from a syndicate of banks.

Few details of the transaction have been released, but GTR understands that it was led by Sumitomo Mitsubishi Banking Corporation (SMBC) and that Fortis Bank was also involved.

€$121mn of the facility has been guaranteed by ONDD, the Belgian export credit agency (ECA). This tranche has a tenor of 11.5 years and is priced at 207bps.

ONDD’s secretary general Nabil Jijakli says the ECA became involved in order to support the exports of equipment to be used in the construction of the satellite, but also the equipment used every time the satellite is launched too.

The ECA has also just introduced a new export refinancing product, the Export Funding Guarantee (EFG), which will allow exporters to leverage the agency’s AA credit rating in order to obtain cheaper finance. Jijakli tells GTR: “The EFG allows the bank to find lower rates at which it can refinance the buyer credits that it grants to exporters. ONDD helps to obtain easier access to buyer credits at more favourable terms, which supports Belgian exports as these favourable terms are passed on to the exporters.”