US$298 million COFACE Guaranteed Facility Agreement to finance Panama City Metro Project

Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega has represented Citibank, N.A. for the US$298 million COFACE Guaranteed Facility Agreement to finance the design and construction of Line 1 of the Panama City Metro. This facility was guaranteed by French credit insurer Compagnie Française d'Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur (COFACE).

This export credit agency (ECA) supported facility is one of at least three such facilities that the Republic of Panama has entered into for separate aspects of the Panama City Metro Project.  It was structured and negotiated in parallel with a sister facility in the amount of US$64 million that was granted by a lending syndicate also led by Citibank. This particular facility was guaranteed by the Compañía Española de Seguros de Crédito a la Exportación S.A. (CESCE), of Spain. Most of the financing terms of both the CESCE and the COFACE facilities were reflected in a single Common Terms Agreement entered into by the Ministry of Economy and Finance as borrower. In a third deal, ARIFA also acted as Panamanian counsel to Citibank for a US$64 million CESCE Guaranteed Facility Agreement.

Panama City Metro's US$1.9 billion Line 1 is one of the few projects in Panama financed with ECA supported facilities from ECAs of two different countries. ARIFA advised arrangers in all Panama law matters involved in the transaction and provided comments to the various financing documents.

It is, arguably, the single most important public infrastructure project ever undertaken in Panama City in terms of Dollar amount and general impact.