DP World Said to Seek Loan to Repay Half of $3 Billion Facility

DP World Ltd., the world’s fourth-biggest port operator, has begun talks with banks for a loan to help repay half of a $3 billion credit facility that matures in October, a banker familiar with the talks said.

The Dubai World-controlled company is talking to HSBC Holdings Plc, Standard Chartered Plc and Citigroup Inc. for a new $1.5 billion loan, the banker said, declining to be identified because the information is private. It will pay the remaining $1.5 billion with its own cash, he said. DP World raised a revolving credit facility in October 2007 at a margin of 45 basis points over the London interbank offered rate, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

A spokeswoman for DP World could not be reached for a comment outside office hours. Officials for HSBC, Standard Chartered and Citigroup in Dubai declined to comment.

DP World, which operates more than 60 terminals across six continents, is expanding operations in China, India and the Middle East as it seeks to boost capacity to 100 million twenty-foot equivalent container units by 2020, according to its website. The company said in December it will invest $850 million in the next three years to expand capacity at its flagship Jebel Ali port in Dubai.

Dubai and its related companies shoulder $129.3 billion of debt, amounting to 149 percent of GDP, of which $15.5 billion is due this year, according to Bank of America Corp. Merrill Lynch estimates. The emirate, home to the world’s tallest tower and palm-shaped islands, borrowed the money during a regional economic boom to turn itself into a financial, trade and tourist hub.

DP World handled 54.7 million TEUs at its ports last year compared with 49.6 million TEUs a year earlier, it said Jan. 31. It forecast full-year gross profit to be “in line with expectations” on the back of a 10 percent increase in container volumes last year.

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