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RLPC-UAE utility TAQA seeks $3 bln loan refinancing

By Michelle Meineke

LONDON, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) is looking to refinance up to $3 billion of syndicated loans and banks are due to submit proposals this week, two bankers close to the deal said on Tuesday.

The Abu-Dhabi based energy and utility company firm, 75 percent owned by the Abu Dhabi government, has a solid financial record and is a familiar name in the loan market which could encourage banks to take part, the bankers added.

But TAQA may have to pay more than on its original $3 billion loan signed in December 2010 with coordinator Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU). Since then, the euro zone debt crisis has squeezed banks' liquidity - especially in Europe - which means that the majority of borrowers have to pay more for loans.

It is too early to judge the final pricing for TAQA, one of the bankers added.

TAQA's original loan was split between a $1 billion, three-year tranche at one percent and a $2 billion, five-year tranche, at two percent. The new deal is also likely to be in two parts, the bankers said.

TAQA declined to comment.

The banks involved in managing the 2010 deal were Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, BNP Paribas, Citi, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

TAQA reported a small rise in quarterly profits on Aug. 14 and said plans to spend $2.2 billion this year were still on track.

(Editing by Jane Merriman)

((michelle.meineke@thomsonreuters.com)(+44 207 542 0651))

Keywords: TAQA/LOAN