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Saudi Aramco to refinance $10 billion revolving loans: sources By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view shows branded oil tanks at Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq

By Davide Barbuscia

DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Aramco (SE:) is expected to refinance a $10 billion debt facility raised in 2015, two sources said, in what would be the oil giant’s third major foray into the loan market this year.

Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, raised the revolving credit facility in 2015 with a wide group of international and local banks.

That financing included two five-year loans, one in U.S. dollars and one in riyal, and two annually renewable one-year loans, also split between the two currencies.

Aramco, which declined to comment, last year extended the two five-year facilities by two years, pushing their maturities to March next year, according to a bond prospectus.

It is now planning to refinance the $10 billion revolving loans, two banking sources said, confirming a report by LPC, a fixed income news service that is part of Refinitiv.

“Rather than keep rolling it on a year basis, which is where it is right now, they’ll come and do a refinancing,” said one of the sources.

Aramco has recently agreed with banks to extend by a year a separate one-year $10 billion loan it raised in May last year, said one of the two banking sources.

It is also arranging a $10.5 billion loan for investors buying a stake in its oil pipeline business.

Aramco’s debt-to-equity ratio more than doubled to 55% in 2020 from a year before, it said last month, after the group kept a pledge to deliver a $75 billion dividend to support state coffers despite a slide in profits.

Its “gearing” ratio – a measure of the degree to which Aramco’s operations are financed by debt – was 23% last year, compared to minus 0.2% at the end of 2019.

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