Astra Agro seeks US$55 million loan this year

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 07:50

Jakarta-listed palm oil company PT Astra Agro Lestari plans to seek US$55 million, or Rp 500 billion worth of new loan this year, much lower than the initial plan of Rp $100 million.

Company Finance Director Santosa said late on Tuesday that the borrowing would act as an emergency funds to help finance working capital particularly amid fluctuation in the price of CPO in the international market.

Astra Agro is currently in talks with a couple of foreign banks, and hope that a deal could be reached in the middle of this year.  The new borrowing will replace the existing standby loan worth $50 million from Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ.  Santosa said that the old loan, which will mature in the middle of this year, was quite expensive with interest rate of 3.5 percent above LIBOR as it was given during the height of the global financial crisis in 2009.  “We’re seeking for new lending facility with lower interest rate,” he said.

Astra Agro may need huge cash spending this year as it plans to acquire new land for oil palm development, and diversification into sugarcane and rubber plantation.

Elsewhere, the company announced a 2011 final dividend of Rp 995 per share.   In November of last year, the company distributed an interim dividend of Rp 300 per share.  The company last year booked a net profit of Rp 2.4 trillion.  (rei)

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