Crude Oil: Afreximbank, UBA make initial disbursement of $2.2bn

Afreximbank and the United Bank for Africa (UBA) have disclosed that they have made an initial disbursement of $2.25 billion under a syndicated US$3.3 billion crude oil prepayment facility being sponsored by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

 A second tranche of US$1.05 million is expected to be disbursed subsequently.

This landmark financing is Nigeria’s largest crude oil prepayment facility and one of the biggest syndicated loans raised in Africa in 2023.  

The 5-year facility carries a margin of 6.0% per annum above the 3-month secured overnight financing rate (SOFR). 

The transaction structure has an embedded price balance mechanism where 90% of all excess cash from the sale of the committed barrels (after debt service) will be released to the borrower, while the balance of 10% will be used to prepay the facility, effectively shortening the final maturity of the facility and freeing cashflow from future pledged cargoes for use by Nigeria.

The facility will support Nigeria’s macroeconomic stability and long-term economic growth, facilitating access to raw materials and trade development.

United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) played the role of Local Arranger and Onshore Account Bank for the transaction, which is expected to ease the foreign exchange illiquidity and stabilise the Nigerian currency market.

The initial participating lenders are Afreximbank, Africa’s multilateral trade finance institution, Gunvor International BV, a Geneva-based multinational energy and commodities trading company and Sahara Energy Resources Limited, an African-owned, leading international energy and infrastructure conglomerate.

Commending the successful financial close, Afreximbank President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Prof. Benedict Oramah, said that “this facility further demonstrates the Bank’s commitment to supporting African economies, when such assistance is most needed. 

According to him: “Afreximbank stands by its member countries in good and in difficult times. The disbursement of the initial US$ 2.25 billion under the facility will support Nigeria’s long-term economic stability, ease access to import financing for raw materials and essential goods, support industrialization and trade development efforts.  We are pleased that despite the typical year-end pressures, our partners and investors committed the funds required in record time.  We thank them for their support”.

In his remarks, NNPCL Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mele Kolo Kyari said: “the proceeds of the facility have been made available to the Federal Republic of Nigeria as one of the strategies to improve macro-economic stability.  The participation of global, international and regional syndication firms is a further testament to the lending market’s appetite for financing sponsored by NNPCL and signifies solid market confidence in Nigeria.”

The Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Oliver Alawuba said: “UBA is delighted to participate in this transaction, which demonstrates once again UBA’s commitment to providing necessary interventions and solutions towards addressing economic issues in Nigeria and across Africa’’.

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