13 de mayo de 2016 / 18:52 / en 2 años

Ecopetrol eyes loans, bonds to cover 2016 funding needs: CFO

NEW YORK, May 13 (IFR) - Colombia’s Ecopetrol will look to raise at least another US$1bn this year as the state-owned oil company seeks to meet financing needs of anywhere between US$1.5bn-US$1.9bn for 2016, CFO Maria Fernanda Saurez told IFR on Friday.

“We have been cherry picking from different transactions that have been offered to us,” said Saurez. “Up to now we have already financed about US$500m and we are also working on other transactions.”

That amount came from two bilateral loans - one from Bancolombia and the other from Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, which offered five-year money at Libor plus 145bp, she said.

Other small loans are in the works, while the oil company also considers its options in the local and US dollar bond markets.

“We are always looking at opportunities and finding what might be the right moment at the right cost,” Suarez said.

Financing needs have dropped this year as the oil company addresses ways to work in an environment where lower crude prices are likely to be the norm.

“When you look at the financing needs that Ecopetrol had in 2014 and 2015 it was about US$4bn, and this year financing needs are relatively small,” said Suarez. (Reporting By Paul Kilby; editing by Shankar Ramakrishnan)

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