Singapore Marks Another First in Libor Shift With Olam Club Loan


Singapore has moved further ahead in its shift away from the London interbank offered rate after a local company got a landmark loan tied to a Libor alternative.

Olam International Ltd. secured a club loan of S$200 million ($145 million), the first such facility pegged to the Singapore Overnight Rate Average, or SORA.

Olam, one of Asia’s biggest agricultural companies, signed the facility with DBS Group Holdings Ltd. and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the companies said in a joint statement. Singapore is discontinuing the SGD swap offer rate, computed using Libor, from around the end of 2021, and replacing it with SORA.

The move is part of a broader push as policymakers around the world develop new benchmarks to replace Libor by the end of 2021, after European and U.S. banks were found to have manipulated it for their own gain.

Olam follows food giant Wilmar International Ltd. and the country’s top developer CapitaLand Ltd. among the companies that have signed loans based on SORA. Those borrowings weren’t club deals that typically involve a few core banks.

Olam’s one-year revolving credit facility is coupled with a cross-currency swap, according to the statement. That gives the firm the option to enter into the swap with DBS at the start of each interest period, providing added certainty on interest rates.

READ: Singapore Regulator Urges Banks to Keep Up With Libor Shift

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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