Glencore Plc signs loans to refinance credit facility

By Staff Writer

Feb 18, 2016 09:56 AM EST

Glencore Plc has taken on new loan commitments to refinance its $8.45 billion revolving credit facility. The company, which is already seeking ways to reduce its existing $30 billion debt, saw the stock prices rise to its highest in the last three months.

The Straits Times reports that the Swiss commodities trader and miner received $8.4 billion in the first phase of syndication, reflecting an increase from 37 senior banks of nearly 3 billion above existing levels. Of this amount, Glencore took out $7.7 billion to expand the refinancing via a general syndication of 30 additional banks in the second quarter. The new unsecured facility comes with 12-month options for both extension and borrower's term-out period.

It's "a positive development from the company, and whilst not finalized it is encouraging that there remains healthy demand to lend to Glencore," Investec Plc analysts noted, according to Bloomberg. "However, we would be surprised if the interest payments will be reduced as the commodity environment has worsened and the company's credit rating is weaker than a year ago."

The statement was made at a time when the lenders' support for the company signaled their confidence in the trader despite its credit rating being cut to the lowest by Standard & Poor's. It stood just above "junk" in the investment grade. This led the Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg to sell $2.5 billion of new shares and dispose of assets to raise funds. The billionaire also scrapped the firm's dividends.

Bookrunners like ABN AMRO, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, HSBC, ING, and Santander have led the financing for Glencore. As per Reuters, the company does not require a credit facility of the same size as it did last year as it had already ensured that its current liquidity is more than $14 billion last December.

2015 saw an alarming decline of 70% of the company stocks as cost of debt insurance against default soared in the face of plunging oil and copper prices, thereby affecting profits. The stocks recorded an increase from November when it went up by 6.6%, its highest mark. Shares have seen a consistent increase by 52% over the last four weeks.

The Switzerland-based trader even recorded its longest streak of gains when the company's €1.25 billion of 5.25% bonds, which is due in March 2017, went up to 100.4 cents on the euro for a fourth day. Another fourth-day gain was seen for its €750 million of 3.375% securities maturing in 2020, with an increase to 85 cents on the euro, recording its highest price since December.

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