PEMEX GETS 1ST COMMERCIAL BANK LOANS IN 10 YEARS

PEMEX GETS 1ST COMMERCIAL BANK LOANS IN 10 YEARS

Petroleos Mexicanos, the Mexican state oil company, received its first commercial bank loans in 10 years.

The transactions signed at the beginning of March include a $100 million trade finance loan with 13 banks led by Chase Manhattan Bank, Mexican government officials said.A letter of credit from five European banks led by Swiss Bank Corp. will back a $230 million commercial paper program in the United States.

The $100 million revolving trade credit is a direct loan to Pemex and will be used to finance international commercial transactions.

The commercial paper program is being co-led by Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Lehman Brothers and has triple-A ratings from Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's Corp.

Pemex officials said the company "will be active in the trade finance area" and said they would "work to maintain our ties with a select number of commercial banks."

They said the program marks the beginning of Pemex's presence in the U.S.

financial markets.

Pemex plans to expand its drilling and refining activities. Last September, it received a $1.3 billion loan guarantee from the U.S. Export-Import Bank.