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RGE completes $787m SLL; FAB and NBK are lead arrangers

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Singapore-based global corporate group Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) said its member company, Apical Group, has completed a US$787 million Sustainability-Linked Loan (SLL) with strong support from Middle Eastern banks.

First Bank Abu Dhabi (FAB), the largest bank in the UAE, and National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest financial institution in Kuwait, are the authorized lead arrangers, bookrunners and underwriters for SLL. Other Middle Eastern lenders in the consortium of more than 20 banks include the National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) and investment banks.

Tey Wei Lin, President of Golden Eagle Group, said: “Sustainable development is at the core of our business model and sustainable financing is the way forward for Golden Eagle Group. The growth of our business contributes more to the growth of sustainable financing in the region.”

green debt

Sustainability-related green debt issuance in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region outpaced global growth, rising from $4.5 billion in 2020 to $18.64 billion in 2021. In addition, green debt issuance in the Gulf region hit a record high in 2022, surpassing oil, gas and coal-related financing for the first time since 2015.

FAB leads the MENA region’s sustainable finance agenda, having expanded some of the region’s largest SLLs to big names such as Majid Al Futtaim and Etihad Airways.

Fawaz Abusneineh, Head of Global Corporate Finance Agency, FAB, said: “We are delighted to have successfully completed this sustainability-related syndicated loan raising US$787 million for Apical, part of the Golden Eagle Group. Acting as fiduciary lead arranger, bookrunner and underwriter We have worked closely with Golden Eagle Group to facilitate this transaction in the Middle East and Asian lending markets. We will continue to support Golden Eagle Group in line with FAB’s vision of promoting sustainable economic growth in the region and our commitment to the Net Zero Banking Alliance and other major clients to raise sustainability-related or green financing facilities.”

Global Agribusiness

As a two-year revolving credit facility, the US$787 million SLL will support Apical’s development as a global agribusiness with strong downstream segments spanning oleochemicals, functional fats, animal feed and packaging oils. Apical is expanding its global presence to meet growing consumer demand and address issues such as global food security.

Apical’s latest round of SLLs reinforces the alignment of the company’s practices with Apical2030, whose sustainability roadmap is based on commitments and targets covering environmental and social pillars, including: net zero emissions by 2050; reduced greenhouse gas intensity 50%; engage in deeper collaboration with suppliers to promote more sustainable practices. The goals under Apical2030 are aligned with key environmental initiatives being driven by the Middle East and North Africa, such as the UAE’s 2050 Net Zero Emissions and Kuwait’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Four Key Performance Indicators

Apical’s $787 million SLL is linked to four key performance indicators (KPIs) to meet specific and measurable ESG targets. These KPIs include increasing the level of traceability verification on its plantations, increasing supplier engagement to promote sustainable practices and traceability, increasing the number of smallholder Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certifications, and reducing emission of greenhouse gases.

In 2021, Golden Eagle Group became one of the first non-property businesses in Singapore to obtain an SLL and is the second largest SLL borrower in the country. In 2022, including the latest round of $787 million in SLLs, Golden Eagle has raised about $1.6 billion in SLLs for its pulp and paper and agriculture businesses. — trade arab news agency

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