19 Nov 2010 10:03

Moscow press review for November 19, 2010

MOSCOW. November 19 (Interfax) - The following is a digest of Moscow newspapers published on November 19. Interfax does not accept liability for information in these stories.


Having borrowed $900 million from Western banks, SUEK started repaying early to Russian ones. The company decided to repay the loans granted by Gazprombank, Sberbank and VTB , secured by the shares of its largest subsidiaries in Kuzbass and Krasnoyarsk Territory. By June 30 SUEK's net debt was 80.3 billion rubles according to the IFRS. By late September - 87.9 billion rubles according to the IFRS. Collateral debt obligations - 70.8 billion rubles (before repayment of Sberbank and VTB loans). Last year banks lent reluctantly even to companies with good finances and demanded a high security, says Alexei Bulgakov, an analyst with Troika Dialog . ("SUEK going away from pledges")

Oleg Deripaska has sold the most attractive forestry asset: Austria's Pulp Mill bought from BazEl 33.6% shares in the Arkhangelsk pulp and paper mill (ACBK). As a result, the interest of the Austrian company rose 97.42%, the company said on Thursday. The deal is worth $150 million, an ACBK spokesman said. The company lent this sum to Pulp Mill a day earlier and borrowed from Unicredit. The deal is in the process, a BazEl official said declining to elaborate. Both Pulp Mill and Deripaska became ACBK shareholders in 2003. ("Deripaska surrendering wood," also Kommersant, page 11 - "BazEl moving out from Arkhangelsk")

VTB Capital has become the main and almost the only creditor of Seventh Continent , the supermarket chain's owner Alexander Zanadvornov told Vedomosti through his aide. In October VTB Capital granted a five-year $400 million loan at 9.75% interest rate per annum, in December it could grant another $250 million on the same terms. "The $400 million line was approved by the board of directors. Raising the limit to $650 million requires an approval by a general meeting of shareholders, which is what will happen on December 12," Zanadvornov said. The VTB Capital loan will be secured by property: "almost all" of it has been pledged, the businessman said. ("Seventh Continent's helper")


Gazprom , which has long been trying to enter the Israeli market, will be finally able to do so. Before the end of 2010 the monopoly wants to receive 50% in the country's shelf blocks. According to unofficial reports, it is buying a share in the project run by local company Ratio Yam. The forecast resources are not big - around 100 billion cubic meters, but they are located close to better explored blocks with much bigger resources. At the same time, the start of its own gas production in Israel will put an end to Gazprom's plans to supply natural gas to that country through the Blue Stream gas pipeline. (page 11, "Gazprom goes to Israel")

Rostelecom which has not yet completed the merger seems to have already found would-be shareholders. Kommersant has learnt that two months before his resignation General Director of Svyazinvest Yevgeny Yurchenko signed a memorandum with Swiss-registered fund Savoretti & Partners, which received an exclusive five-month right to negotiate the acquisition of up to 15% in the merged company for its clients. Investment bankers and the communications company managers polled by the newspaper know nothing about the fund. (page 1, "Rostelecom issued with Swiss bill")