CAIRO: Ezz Steel, Egypt’s biggest steel manufacturer, announced Monday it has signed a long-term financing agreement worth 1.7 billion EGP ($237 million) with the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and Arab African International Bank (AAIB.)
The company said in a Monday statement to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX,) that the loan will be used to restructure its credit facilities, and pay back some of its existing debt. Ezz Steel added that the loan would be repaid over 7 years in quarterly installments starting in 2015.
In 2013, the company produced around 3.7 million tons of building steel and 990,000 tons of flat steel. Ezz Steel’s production capacity amounts to 5.8 million tons annually.
Meanwhile, production and profitability have been hurt dramatically by a sharp natural gas shortage, which has forced the government to cut supplies of heavy industries to run power plants to reduce semi-daily blackouts, especially during the summer.
Ezz Steel recorded a 142.5 million EGP net loss during the first half of 2014, compared to a net profit of 621.6 million EGP in the same period in 2013.