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Fri 22 May 2015 01:14 AM

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Abu Dhabi's TAQA said to eye $3.5bn loan

Sources say Abu Dhabi National Energy Co is looking to raise loan as it seeks to consolidate existing debts into one facility

Abu Dhabi's TAQA said to eye $3.5bn loan

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) is looking to raise a $3.5 billion loan as it seeks to consolidate a number of existing debts into one facility with a lower rate of interest, three sources aware of the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

The firm joins other Gulf-based companies in taking advantage of the strong liquidity of local banks to try to lower borrowing costs. Energy firms are also looking to boost their cash reserves to help them weather the downturn in oil prices.

TAQA is looking for a facility of five years duration and is working with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and National Bank of Abu Dhabi about its plans, the sources said.

Other banks have been invited to join the deal, the sources said, with one adding that lenders must submit pledges by the end of the month. A marketing phase to attract additional lenders, known as a syndication, could happen later, depending on the response from the initial invited group, one of the other sources said.

A TAQA spokesman declined to comment.

Among the existing debts which TAQA could refinance using the new facility is a $2.2 billion loan which is set to mature in December, while it has a $1 billion bond which it could also set aside cash for ahead of its maturity in October 2016, according to the third source.

"They could refinance the loan and bond and still have a little bit of cash left over to put into the business," he said.

TAQA reported a 6.6 percent decline in first-quarter net profit last week, its third quarterly earnings drop on lower oil prices.

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