Bank of Sharjah signs club term loan facility

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Bank of Sharjah announced today that it has signed a USD 135 million (AED 500 million equivalent) club term loan facility with four Mandated Lead Arrangers: Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft (also acting as Agent and Coordinator), National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC, Intesa SanPaolo s.p.a and Wells Fargo Bank N.A.

The two-year facility will be used by the Bank for its general corporate purposes, specifically for USD denominated transactions.

The facility carries a margin of 1.5 per cent per annum, similar to the pricing applied to the one year term loan raised by the Bank last year and fully repaid in July 2011. Bank of Sharjah was the only bank in the region to sign a loan with a syndicate of banks in 2010.

The deal reflects the strong relationship all participating lenders have with Bank of Sharjah and the solid confidence they have in its financial strength and sustainable performance that transcend difficult economic conditions.

Varouj Nerguizian, Executive Director and General Manager, commented: “The political unrest which erupted in the MENA region during the first quarter of 2011 has negatively impacted the regional financial markets. The necessity of continually assessing risk and monitoring exposure, coupled with new risk classification measures introduced by the U.A.E Central Bank, if effectively implemented, might prove challenging to the banking industry in 2011, considering the subdued economic environment.

“Bank of Sharjah, with its corporate and investment profile, will further continue strengthening its balance sheet structures and ratios. The Bank, although highly liquid, has arranged the US$ denominated loan to mitigate its USD funding requirements.

“While the Bank recognises that, with money market rates at a historic low, the high liquidity ratios are affecting profitability, we will continue to adopt the same policy, that has proven to be the best strategy over the past 38 years to protect the interests of our shareholders, as well as customers.”

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