RLPC-Russian TNK-BP seeks $700 mln club loan-bankers

LONDON, July 23 (BestGrowthStock) – TNK-BP (TNBPI.RTS: ) (BP.L: ), BP’s
Russian joint venture, is in talks with banks over a $700
million, three-year unsecured loan that could be increased to $1
billion, banking sources close to the deal said.

The margin is expected to be below 2 percent, one of the
bankers added.

The club loan will be the first unsecured loan for a Russian
oil and gas borrower since Gazprom Neft’s (SIBN.MM: ) $1 billion
dual-tranche unsecured syndicated loan that signed in July 2008,
according to Thomson Reuters LPC.

TNK-BP’s new deal marks a departure from the borrowing
strategy of other Russian commodity companies this year, which
have all agreed secured pre-export financings.

The success of these deals has reopened the loan market to
large Russian borrowers in 2010, the bankers said.

Oil companies Tatneft (TATN.RTS: ) and Gazprom Neft; metals
company Mechel (MTL.N: ) and coal producer SUEK are in various
stages of syndication with secured loans worth a total of $6.3
billion.

TNK-BP declined to comment.

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(Reporting by Christopher Mangham; Additional reporting by
Ekaterina Golubkova in Moscow; Editing by David Holmes)

RLPC-Russian TNK-BP seeks $700 mln club loan-bankers