Bank of Tokyo's U.S. corporate banking unit has helped arrange a $290 million loan to Phelps Dodge Corp., a Phoenix-based mining company.

The loan, to develop the Candelaria copper and gold mine in Chile, highlights a new strategy at Bank of Tokyo of using its Asia-Pacific connections to structure financial transactions for large U.S. corporations.

"Our objective is to be the Asia-Pacific bank of choice for U.S. companies, and we aim to do more than simply lend money," said one official with the Bank of Tokyo in New York.

Bank of Tokyo, with more than $45 billion in U.S. assets, the most of any foreign bank, has lent $23.6 billion to U.S. corporations and U.S. units of foreign companies.

Arranging the Financing

But in the Phelps Dodge deal, Bank of Tokyo is not lending any money.

Instead, it lined up the Export-Import Bank of Japan to provide $200 million; the Overseas Private Investment Corp. for $50 million; Banco de Chile for $30 million; and Germany's Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau for $10 million.

The 13-year loan will be guaranteed by annual shipments of 200,000 tons of copper concentrate to Japan after production begins at the mine.

An 80%-owned Chilean unit of Phelps Dodge will begin repaying the loan after four years.

The interest rate has not been disclosed but will float above the London interbank offered rate.

Group Executive Promoted

In one of two recent personnel changes, the bank promoted James J. Wallace Jr., group executive for U.S. corporate banking to executive vice president.

Mr. Wallace was previously with the Bank of New York Co., where he was senior vice president, domestic corporate and middle-market business.

He joined Bank of Tokyo in 1990 as senior vice president and manager of the national banking department for the Bank of Tokyo Trust Co. unit. He was promoted to group executive for the U.S. corporate banking group in August 1991.

Chief Credit Officer Hired

Also, Bank of Tokyo recently hired Kenneth J. Abere as senior vice president and chief credit officer.

Mr. Abere, who also came from Bank of New York, is the first American to take overall charge of the bank's credit management.

He was formerly chairman of the Bank of New York's corporate and middle-market credit committees and vice chairman of the international credit committee.

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