Emirates Steel took out the 18-month loan in May 2008, with maturity set for November 2009. The extension puts the new maturity date back to August 2010.

The four banks that have joined the group are Qatar’s Al-Khaliji, its subsidiary BLC Bank (France), India’s Bank of Baroda and Abu Dhabi’s First Gulf Bank. One of the original lenders, Japan’s Mizuho, has decided against extending its share of the bridging loan to Emirates Steel.

The other lenders – the UK’s HSBC, France’s Natixis, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi’s Union National Bank, Bahrain’s Arab Banking Corporation and Germany’s HVB/Unicredit Group – have all agreed to the extension.

Natixis, which is also acting as a financial adviser to Emirates Steel, will begin approaching banks about long-term financing for the company early next year.