November 9, 2017 / 8:57 AM / in a year

AfDB approves loans for Air Cote d'Ivoire Airbus purchase

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved 98 million euros (86.59 million pounds) in loans to help fund Ivory Coast national airline Air Cote d’Ivoire’s purchase of five new Airbus (AIR.PA) A320s, the bank said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Air Cote d’Ivoire headquarters, the Ivorian airline company are pictured in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Luc Gnago/File Photo

The loans will contribute to a total investment of 253 million euros that the company says will help Air Cote d’Ivoire become West Africa’s premier airline and make Ivory Coast’s commercial capital Abidjan the region’s main travel hub.

The AfDB financing includes a 51-million-euro sovereign loan, a 43-million-euro private sector loan, and an African Development Fund loan of 4 million euros.

The bank’s support also includes a 17-million-euro partial risk guarantee to ensure the participation of commercial banks, which will contribute 95 million euros.

“The transaction is the first of its kind to use the leveraging power of the partial risk guarantee for the transport sector in Africa,” the AfDB said in a statement.

The Ivorian state owns a 65 percent stake in the airline. Its other shareholders are Air France (AIRF.PA) with a 20 percent stake and private Ivorian investor group Goldenrod, which holds 15 percent.

Reporting by Joe Bavier; editing by Ralph Boulton

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