DIFCI close to refinancing loan

DIFC Investments, the investment arm of the company running Dubai's financial free zone, is close to securing a $1 billion loan from four banks to help refinance an upcoming Islamic bond maturity, a banking source familiar with the matter said.

Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest lender, and Standard Chartered, will contribute an equal amount into the deal, while Noor Islamic Bank and Dubai Islamic Bank, also join the deal but with a smaller commitment.

The loan will help refinance a $1.25 billion sukuk maturing in June, and will be in place in time for the redemption date.

"It's in the documentation phase," the source, who requested anonymity, said. "There will be a syndication in due course but they want to deal with the sukuk first."

Mohammed Al Shaibani, chief executive of the Investment Corporation of Dubai and deputy chairman of Dubai's Supreme Fiscal Committee, said on Monday that the loan was close to completion.

"There is a ... facility maturing this year with respect to DIFCI, which is, as we speak, being concluded," Shaibani told Reuters in Mumbai.

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