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Worlds Biggest Coal Port Loan Price Linked to Social Goals

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SYDNEY, May 4 Reuters Australias Port of Newcastle has signed a A515 million 398 million loan with National Australia Bank NAB that links interest payments to nonmandatory social and environmental targets, the companies said.

The worlds largest coal port will pay less if certain targets are met, including reducing its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions and screening all customers for modern slavery risks, they said in a joint statement.

The loan also contains metrics focused on mental health first aid, diversity and inclusion, they said.

The interest rate and potential discounts on it were not disclosed.

Behaviourbased lending provides an opportunity to help our customers create greater environmental and social impact in sectors not easily diversified, said David Gall, corporate institutional banking group executive at NAB.

The new sustainabilitylinked loan is part of a broader A666 million refinancing facility funded by a consortium of lenders, the statement said.

Macquarie Groupbacked The Infrastructure Group and Hong Konglisted China Merchants Port Holdings own a longterm lease to the Port of Newcastle.

It exports coal around the world, including to China, India and Mexico.

The port is trying to improve its environmental, social and governance credentials and is striving to diversify its cargoes to trade in wheat, fertilisers, cement and general cargo, according to its website.

1 1.2928 Australian dollars

Reporting by Paulina Duran in Sydney;…

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