8 Sep 2009 14:33

Commission approves nearly 31 bln rubles in guarantees for Metalloinvest units

MOSCOW. Sept 8 (Interfax) - The commission for sustainable economic development chaired by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov Tuesday approved 30.75 billion rubles in state guarantees for members of Alisher Usmanov's Metalloinvest holding, a government statement says.

The guarantees go to iron ore producers Lebedinsky GOK and Mikhailovsky GOK (10 billion rubles each) and steel producers Oskol Electrometallurgical Combine (OEMK) (6.25 billion rubles) and Urals Steel (4.5 billion rubles).

The commission took the VTB bank's opinion that the Metalloinvest units are capable of honoring their loan commitments into consideration, the statement said.

The guarantees will secure a VTB credit facility, about which an agreement has been reached in principle, Metalloinvest said in a statement.

The credit facility will be used for operating purposes and to fund capex, the holding said.

Industry sources have said Metalloinvest planned to borrow 60 billion rubles from VTB over five years.

Metalloinvest's debt was approximately $5.9 billion at the end of Q1 2009, including $1.4 billion in short-term debt. The lenders include Russia's Sberbank, VTB, Alfa-Bank and Bank of Moscow , and foreign banks BNP Paribas, HVB, Deutsche Bank, KfW, among others.

Much of the debt consists of syndicated loans arranged by BNP and ABN Amro - one totaling $165 million, raised in 2007 and maturing in 2012; and the other $1.6 billion (for the period 2008-2013).