Enel signs state-backed credit line worth 12 billion euros

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By Francesca Landini

MILAN - Enel and a pool of banks signed a 12 billion euro ($12.74 billion) credit facility to fund margin calls linked to the group's derivative trades, Italy's biggest utility said.

The financing is 70% guaranteed by the Italian export credit agency SACE and has a term of about 18 months, Enel said on Friday.As anticipated by , the credit line is part of the Italian government's efforts to shield the country's utilities against volatility on energy markets.

After the start of the war in Ukraine, soaring power and gas prices have rocked energy companies across Europe, forcing utilities and traders to secure extra funds from governments and banks to cover margin call requirements. Enel said the facility does not have any impact on its net financial debt, which was nearly 70 billion euros at the end of September.

Italy's economy minister, in agreement with the industry minister, will have to issue a specific decree for Enel to be able to tap the credit line and for the guarantee to be effective, Enel said.

The facility has a 50-basis-point margin above Euribor and a non-use fee equal to 35% of the margin. The annual guarantee premium is, in relation to the guaranteed amount, set at 50 basis points for the first year and 100 basis points for the second year.

The pool of lenders providing the financing to Enel comprises Banco BPM, BPER Banca, Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit.

Other Italian utilities are expected to apply for the SACE guarantee scheme. Italy's second-biggest utility A2A told on Tuesday it would tap the credit facility backed by the credit export agency in January.

($1 = 0.9417 euro)


(Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Gianluca Semeraro and Peter Graff)

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