6 Oct 2009 14:06

GAZ settles difficulties with Alfa-Bank, could get guarantees in days

MOSCOW. Oct 6 (Interfax) - Russia's GAZ automobile group and Alfa-Bank have settled their debt issue, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov told reporters.

"All difficulties between Alfa-Bank and GAZ have been settled and GAZ will be able to obtain state guarantees within days," Shuvalov said.

A source at Alfa-Bank told Interfax that GAZ's debt has indeed been settled, but did not specify the size of the debt. The bank will issue an official comment later.

It was reported earlier that GAZ had 39 billion rubles in bank debt, of which Alfa-Bank loans made up 8%.

It was reported at the end of September that Alfa-Bank had rejected the terms of a debt restructuring for GAZ, which is part of the Oleg Deripaska's Basel group. A GAZ official said that the company "had signed an agreement on restructuring debt with 21 creditor banks, including a syndicate of foreign banks. However, the conclusion of this deal, unprecedented for the Russian market, is being blocked by Alfa-Bank, which has been dragging out the signing of the agreement with the GAZ Group since the end of July, when the agreement on the principles of the restructuring was reached with the creditor banks."