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Gazprom Looking for $10.5Bln in Financing.

Gazprom will seek approval from its shareholders to raise up to $10.5 billion in dollar, euro and ruble loans from state banks, the company said.

Gazprom will ask a general shareholders' meeting on June 26 to approve loans of as much as $6 billion from Vneshekonombank, $1.5 billion each from Sberbank and Rosselkhozbank, $1 billion from VTB Group and $500 million from Gazprombank, the company said in a statement on its web site.

"Gazprom is simply either trying to insure itself against the possibility of the situation in the capital markets again taking a turn for the worse or is looking for attractive alternative sources of refinancing," said Sebastien de Prinsac, head of international sales at Trust Investment Bank in Moscow.

Gazprom, which sold 500 million Swiss francs ($456 million) and $2.25 billion of bonds in April in Russia's first foreign note offering in nine months, has $6.7 billion of debt maturing this year. Russian companies are struggling to refinance $146.7 billion of foreign debt in 2009 after the financial crisis cut access to new cash.

The gas producer's new loans may have maturities of as much as five years, according to the statement. The interest on the facilities shouldn't exceed an annual 15 percent for the dollar or euro loans and 3 percentage points more than the Central Bank's refinancing rate for the ruble debt, the company said.

Gazprom has $52 billion of bonds and loans outstanding. The company is rated Baa1 by Moody's Investors Service, its third-lowest investment grade, and one level lower at BBB by Standard & Poor's.

moscowtimes.ru

 
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