Foreign banks join $200 mln loan to Vietnam refinery

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A syndicated loan worth the equivalent of US$200 million for the operator of Vietnam's $3 billion Dung Quat oil refinery has been arranged by a consortium of offshore and local banks, the lead bank said on Tuesday.

Offshore lenders HSBC Holdings Plc and Credit Agricole CIB signed the loan with Indovina Bank and five Vietnamese lenders for Petrovietnam subsidiary Binh Son Petrochemical Refinery Co, the operator of the 140,000-bpd refinery, partly private Ocean Bank said in a statement.

Indovina Bank is a 50/50 joint venture between Vietnam's VietinBank and Taiwan's Cathay United Bank. Cathay United Bank is a unit of Cathay Financial Holdings.

The statement did not detail terms of the loan or provide breakdowns of contributions by each bank but said the funds would be used to help Binh Son with production and business operations.

French oil services company Technip, which built the refinery in the central province of Quang Ngai, is scheduled to hand over the facility to Binh Son on Wednesday, a state-run newspaper reported last week.

The Dung Quat refinery produced 1.5 million tons of refined products in 2009, and expected to import 5 million tons of crude oil this year to ramp the output up to 4.75 million tons, said state-owned Petrovietnam.

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