Banks weighing Egypt’s Mostorod refinery deal

01 March 2012

A new structure for Egypt’s $3.7bn refinery is being considered by lenders

The Egyptian Refining Company (ERC) is waiting for responses from banks to see if they will approve changes to the structure of the $3.7bn Mostorod refinery project.

Several changes have been made to the deal as a result of the revolution in Egypt and the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in early 2011, including new shareholders joining the deal.

Banks are expected to respond to the new structure by early March, although several banks contacted by MEED say they may struggle to meet that timeline. “There is a deadline for responses, but I don’t think we will meet it,” says one banker lending on the project.

In mid-2010, 12 banks and several export credit agencies (ECAs) had agreed to fund the deal, but the Egyptian revolution meant the loan never reached financial close, although ERC continued to pay commitment fees to the banks to keep the funding in place.

“The shareholder support is good news for this project, but I’m sure the banks will be looking very carefully through the new structure,” says a source close to ERC.

The loan will be the first one to come to the market since the revolution in 2011 and will be a test of banks’ commitment to the country in the new political environment.

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