Bahrain’s Investcorp hires Citi, JPMorgan for loan refinancing – sources

Founded in 1982, Investcorp is one of the oldest Middle Eastern private equity houses. (Courtesy of Investcorp)
Updated 19 May 2019
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Bahrain’s Investcorp hires Citi, JPMorgan for loan refinancing – sources

DUBAI: Bahrain-based alternative investment manager Investcorp has mandated Citi and JPMorgan to coordinate the refinancing of a $400 million loan, sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday.
Founded in 1982, Investcorp is one of the oldest Middle Eastern private equity houses. As of the end of last year, it had $22.5 billion in assets under management.
The firm has hired the banks to coordinate the refinancing of a $400 million revolving credit facility it raised in 2016 which is due next year, said the sources.
Investcorp and Citi declined to comment. JPMorgan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The new revolving loan, with a maturity of four years renewable by one year, is being syndicated to other banks, said the sources.
A revolving loan is one that can be drawn, repaid and drawn again during the agreed lending period.
The 2016 loan included a euro-denominated tranche of around 110 million euros, according to Eikon Refinitiv data.
The refinancing comes amid a slowdown in the Middle East loan market, as borrowers have increasingly turned to bond issues to diversify their funding base and, more recently, to take advantage of favorable conditions across emerging markets. (Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Mark Potter)


Lebanon’s Hariri calls for cabinet solidarity in budget debate

Updated 18 June 2019
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Lebanon’s Hariri calls for cabinet solidarity in budget debate

  • The PM said cabinet ministers need to be united and responsible
  • Lebanon’s debt is almost 150% of its GDP
BEIRUT, June 18 : Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri on Tuesday called for parliament to quickly approve the country’s 2019 budget and urged his coalition government to avoid internal disputes.
The cabinet this month agreed a budget plan that shrinks the projected fiscal deficit by 4 percentage points from last year to 7.6% by cutting spending and raising taxes and other fees.
“What I want during the debate is for us to be responsible and united, and not contradictory,” Hariri said in a statement, addressing cabinet ministers as to their comportment during the parliament debate.
Parliament’s finance committee is debating the draft budget and has suggested amendments, local newspapers reported. It will then put the budget to the full assembly to ratify it.
Parliament is mostly composed of parties that are also present in the coalition government and which supported the budget there.
Since the budget was agreed there have been fierce arguments between parties in the coalition over several subjects, though these have not targeted the budget.
Lebanon has one of the world’s heaviest debt burdens, equivalent to about 150% of GDP, and the International Monetary Fund has urged it to cut spending.
“We have held 19 cabinet meetings to agree on this draft budget and these sessions were not for fun, but for deep, detailed debate over every clause and every idea,” Hariri said.
“For this reason, I consider it the responsibility of each of us in government to have ministerial solidarity...to defend in parliament the decision that we have taken together,” he added.
After the 2019 budget is agreed, the cabinet must quickly start working on the 2020 budget and on approving the first phase of a program of investments toward which foreign donors have offered $11 billion in project financing. (Reporting by Angus McDowall, editing by Ed Osmond)