ABU DHABI — SUDAN has secured a $1.5bn loan from a Chinese bank that was guaranteed by state oil firm China National Petroleum Corp, Sudan’s finance minister said on Wednesday.

The aid throws a lifeline to the African country struggling with an economic crisis.

"The $1.5bn loan will be used to bridge the fiscal gap and enhance our balance of payments," Ali Mahmoud said, adding the loan was granted on December 31. He declined, however, to name the bank.