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Viterra says credit “unaffected” by crisis

Viterra’s financing products for Prairie farmers are “unaffected” by the world’s tightening credit markets, the company said Friday.

Canada’s largest grain company said in a release that it has pre-approved over 19,000 customers for credit financing to date, backed by Scotiabank and totaling over $830 million.

“We expect to extend a total of $1.4 billion in credit by spring of next year,” said George Prosk, the Regina-based company’s senior vice-president for financial products, in the release.

Viterra offers customers credit throughout the year to help finance purchases of seed, fertilizer, crop protection products and equipment. The company also offers a financing package for livestock operations’ feed inputs through its livestock feed and services division, under the brand name Unifeed Financial.

Access to credit has become an issue for numerous businesses worldwide after this year’s bursting of the global credit bubble. But some financial industry observers have said businesses that are either already heavily leveraged or looking to borrow large sums to finance their dealings have more to fear from a credit crunch, compared to borrowers who have strong credit ratings or are able to fully service their debt loads.

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