Betting on a two decade boom: Dubai Aluminum sings $1.8 billion deal

461Dubai Aluminium (Dubal) has completed its $1.8 billion seven-year loan, the first facility which the company has raised to fund its general business purposes in two decades, banking sources said on Thursday.

The transaction was signed at the very end of 2014, the sources said, with two of them adding that around 15 local and international lenders contributed to the deal in total.

Reuters reported in December the loan had been underwritten by Citigroup, Emirates NBD and Societe Generale , and a process of inviting other banks to join the deal had begun.

The loan paid an interest rate of 145 basis points over the London interbank offered rate (Libor), according to Thomson Reuters LPC.

Dubal did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Many Dubai companies have come to the loan market in recent months to take advantage of low borrowing rates as the emirate’s economy has been growing again and cash-rich local banks have been competing for deals.

Dubal has not raised a syndicated loan for general business purposes since it completed a $250 million facility in 1995, according to LPC data, although it has taken on debt for specific projects since then.

It merged in 2013 with Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Aluminium (Emal) to create Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), the world’s fifth-largest aluminium company with an enterprise value of about $15 billion.

Prior to the tie-up, Dubal was owned equally by Emal and Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the sovereign fund that holds stakes in some of the emirate’s top companies.

Dubal is still an entity within EGA, which is owned by Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala and ICD, so it can borrow money in its own right.

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