Wed, 24 Jul 1996

Bira arranges $75m loan for pineapple firm

JAKARTA (JP): Publicly-listed Bank Bira has arranged and closed a syndicated loan of US$75 million for PT Great Giant Pineapple Company, a pineapple plantation and processing firm, with an oversubscription of 26 percent.

The syndicated loan agreement was signed at the Grand Hyatt hotel here yesterday by executives of the syndicate's 19 members and Great Giant.

Bank Bira's president, Bambang Panutomo, told a press conference after the signing ceremony that the interest rate on the loan, which has a tenor of four years, was set at 1.75 points above the Singapore Inter-bank Offered Rate (SIBOR).

"The loan will be used to refinance Great Giant's existing investment loans and finance its investment and expansion plans," Bambang said.

The members are a set of European banks (providing 41 percent of the loan) and Asian banks, mostly from Japan and Singapore (59 percent). The banks provided loans ranging from $2 million to $6 million.

Bambang said that Bank Bira, which is acting as the lead arranger of the loan, and three other banks -- Keppel Bank of Singapore Ltd., Overseas Union Bank Ltd. of Singapore and ING Bank, Jakarta -- will provide loans of $6 million each.

Meanwhile ABN AMRO Bank N.V.Jakarta, Indonesia DKB Bank, Multicor Bank and Bank Sakura Swadharma will come up with $5 million each.

The 11 other banks, which are extending loans of less than $5 million each, are Banque Nationale de Paris, Bank BNP Lippo Indonesia, Rabobank, Rabobank Duta Indonesia, Fuji Bank Limited, IBJ Indonesia Bank, Bank Merincorp, The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, Sanwa Indonesia Bank, Tat Lee Bank Ltd and the BOT Mitsubishi Ltd.

Meanwhile, Great Giant's president, Husodo Angkosubroto, said that the company is currently the third largest pineapple company in the world, with an annual production capacity of five million standard cases of pineapple.

"We have been able to export up to 99.8 percent of our produce to more than 28 countries. Our supplies currently meet 20 percent of world demand," Husodo said.

Great Giant, owned by the Gunung Sewu Group, has 20,000 hectares of pineapple plantations in Lampung, Sumatra.

Bambang said that in 1995, Great Giant posted a net profit of Rp 30 billion (US$12.7 million) and sales revenues of Rp 150 billion.

"It expects to book Rp 50 billion in profit and Rp 200 billion in sales this year," he added.

Top arranger

Bambang added that Bank Bira projects total syndicated loans of up to $1.5 billion by the end of this year.

He said that as of yesterday, Bank Bira had arranged total syndicated loans of $930 million.

"By the end of August, the total loans arranged by the bank will grow to $1.3 billion because we are closing another syndicated loan of $412 million next month."

He declined to mention which company will get the loan.

In 1995, Bank Bira was rank ninth among the "top ten syndication arrangers" for Indonesian syndicated loans by the International Financing Review.

It was also ranked 46st among the top 50 loan arrangers in the Asia Pacific region. (alo)