(MENAFN - Arab Times) United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) announced today concluding a bilateral facility worth USD 150 million including a 7-year senior term loan facility with Burgan Bank's Corporate Banking Group.
The proceeds from this transaction will be invested in UASC's undertaken growth and network expansion plans as a leading container shipping line on the Asia - Middle East - Europe trade as well as in other markets on various North - South trades.
The facility will contribute in particular to the Company's long-term working capital facilities associated with growing the Company's fleet capacity. UASC is in the process of completing the induction of nine A13 (13,500 TEU) vessels of which seven have been put into service making UASC arguably as one of the lowest cost players in the Asia-Middle East and Asia-North Europe markets.
The new A13s are environment friendly vessels equipped with green technology, such as a Waste Heat Recovery System, that transform exhaust gases to energy, allowing a considerable reduction in the carbon footprint of UASC'sships (a possible regulatory requirement for vessels in coming years), and the vessels' hulls have received special silicon paint that reduces their friction with the water surface and thus reduces the vessel's fuel consumption.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors at UASC " Othman Ibrahim Al-Issa commented: "This facility marks a significant step forward towards the implementation of UASC's financial strategy and speaks of UASC's solid foundation and steadfast commitment to forge ahead amidst a challenging business environment".
Majed Essa Al Ajeel, Burgan Bank Chairman said during the signing ceremony: "Burgan Bank's Corporate Banking Group has proved over the years to be a reliable partner for growth by industry leaders such as UASC. The group continues to expand its finance deals with its corporate clients to support them in executing their strategic plans. Our support reiterates our commitment to develop and provide the best financial solutions to our clients and their businesses."
Basil Al-Zaid, Chief Financial and Technical Officer at UASC, commented on the transaction: "We have faced the headwinds in the international trade markets and continue to move firmly with the implementation of UASC's expansion plans.
Concluding this transaction amidst the current difficult market conditions further demonstrates UASC's unique position as a shipping line with access to capital and affirms the long-term business collaboration between UASC and Burgan Bank as well as their understanding of our Industry. We will be working closely with local and regional banks to ensure the successful implementation of our financial strategies, and expansion plans, to offer more comprehensive and cost competitive shipping solutions to our customers from around the globe."
United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) was founded in 1976 jointly by the six Shareholding States of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with offices in more than 20 countries around the world.
UASC is a major container shipping player in the Middle East region and adjacent markets, covering over 200 ports and destinations worldwide. UASC offers containerized and conventional cargo transportation, temperature controlled cargo and value added services to a diversified global client-base, covering the Middle East, Europe, Mediterranean, Indian Sub-continent, Far East, Australia, West Africa and The Americas.
Burgan Bank has four majority owned subsidiaries: Gulf Bank Algeria -AGB (Algeria), Bank of Baghdad -BOB (Iraq), Jordan Kuwait Bank -JKB (Jordan) and Tunis International Bank - TIB (Tunisia), (collectively known as the "Burgan Bank Group").
The Bank has continuously improved its performance over the years through an expanded revenue structure, diversified funding sources, and a strong capital base. The adoption of state-of-the-art services and technology has positioned it as a trendsetter in the domestic market and within the MENA region.
Burgan Bank's brand has been created on a foundation of real values - of trust, commitment, excellence and progression, to remind us of the high standards to which we aspire. 'People come first' is the foundation on which its products and services are developed.
Excellence is one of the Bank's four key values and Burgan Bank continually strives to maintain the highest standards in the industry. The Bank was re-certified in 2010 with the ISO 9001:2008 certification in all its banking businesses, making it the only Bank in GCC to receive such accreditation. The Bank also has to its credit the distinction of being the only Bank in Kuwait to have won the JP Morgan Chase Quality Recognition Award, twelve years in succession.