EBRD loan helps Noble Group take off in Ukraine

By Anton Usov

The EBRD is providing a $50 million financing programme to Noble Resources Ukraine LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Noble Group Limited – a leading global supply chain manager in agricultural and other commodities listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

EBRD financing will be provided in the form of an annual revolving working capital loan with a maximum commitment of up to $50 million that is renewable for three years. The facility will be used by Noble Resources Ukraine LLC for the origination, storage, and export-trade of agricultural commodities in Ukraine.

Other project objectives where EBRD cooperation is envisaged include construction as well as possible acquisition and upgrade of grain storage and primary processing facilities in Ukraine. Noble Resources Ukraine LLC will work with domestic silo operators on fostering improvements of their facilities and operations to bring them in line with the best international practice. At the same time Noble’s own silos, operated at the best international standards, will encourage competition in the sector.

Gilles Mettetal, EBRD Director for Agribusiness said, “The project is consistent with the Bank’s agribusiness strategy for Ukraine. The Bank is pleased to work with a committed sponsor willing to take a long-term view in the key agricultural sector in Ukraine”

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is the biggest financial investor in Ukraine. As of 1 September 2009, it had committed almost €4.5 billion through 185 projects.