Morocco Refiner Samir Gets $240 Mln IDB Loan

Source: Reuters 3/26/2014, Location: Africa

Morocco's oil refiner Samir has received an Islamic murabaha syndicated loan of $240 million from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to finance crude oil imports, it said.

The agreement is part of a $720 million package of loans from the bank. Samir received the first tranche of $200 million in 2012.

In August 2012, the refiner began commercial use of a new crude distillation unit with a processing capacity of 80,000 barrels per day (bpd). The expansion brought Samir's processing capacity to 200,000 bpd.

The IDB granted the new loan through its branch, the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).

"This is a two-year loan ... and it will finance our purchases in crude oil," Samir General Manager Jamal Ba-Amer told Reuters on the margin of the African refiners meeting in Marrakesh.

Ba-amer said Samir is starting to recover and he expects better refining margins.

"Last year, refining margins dropped to $3.70 per barrel from $5.40 in 2012. We are expecting them to reach between $4.50 and $5 in 2014," he said.

Samir shares have lost around 56 percent over the last two years on the Casablanca stock exchange mainly because of pressure on refining margins.

Last month, it secured a $300 million loan via an agreement with Glencore Energy which includes exporting part of its production to Glencore Energy.

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