DUBAI (Reuters) – National Bank of Egypt, the country’s largest bank by assets, is putting together a group of lenders for a club loan in the region of $600 million, banking sources said.
It is expected a three-year debt facility and will likely be provided by international banks and some United Arab Emirates lenders, the sources said. NBE is coordinating the fundraising.
The bank could not be reached for immediate comment.
Foreign currency liquidity for Egyptian banks has improved since the central bank allowed the Egyptian pound to free float in November 2016, resulting in the currency losing half of its value against the U.S. dollar.
Egyptian banks now have access to foreign currency liquidity through the interbank market, as opposed to through central bank auctions, which was the case before the currency’s floatation.
But banks still need to boost their foreign currency liquidity to face requirements accrued during the shortages before the floatation.
NBE has borrowed internationally before. Last year it obtained a $300 million loan from the African Export-Import Bank.
In 2015, it raised a $390 million three-year syndicated loan. HSBC, Citi, Arab Banking Corp, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Standard Chartered and Union National Bank arranged that deal.
Rating agency S&P rates the bank B-(minus). It revised its outlook to “positive” from “stable” in November last year.
Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; editing by Jason Neely