Nissho Iwai to get hefty credit line

Nissho Iwai Corp. is likely to sign a formal contract this week with a banking consortium led by its main creditor bank, UFJ Holdings Inc., for a credit line of up to 100 billion yen, sources familiar with the deal said Wednesday.

The commitment line, which would be renewed annually over a three-year period, would help the debt-laden trading house meet short-term cash needs.

Nissho Iwai unveiled a midterm management plan in January aimed at trimming its debt load, which was at 375 billion yen in September 2001, to 1.3 trillion yen by March 2005.