Russian steelmaker Evraz yesterday said it had signed a $425m (£255m) loan from international banks, showing that western institutions were still comfortable doing business there despite increasing tensions over Ukraine.
FTSE 250-listed Evraz, which counts oligarch and Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich as its largest shareholder, said it had secured the five-year loan with a syndicate of international banks, including Deutsche Bank, ING, Nordea, Societe Generale and Raffeisen Bank. The loan is secured by Evraz’ export revenues and the interest rate is equal to Libor – the interbank lending rate – plus 3.5 per cent.
The proceeds will be used to refinance Evraz’s existing debt.
Tensions between Russia and the west have intensified in recent weeks over Moscow’s presence in Ukraine.
The EU and US have placed sanctions on firms and individuals affiliated with Russian president Vladimir Putin, including the country’s largest oil producer Rosneft.
“I wasn’t surprised that Evraz secured the loan, as it is not under sanctions. It is primarily London-listed with assets in Russia, so I think it would be more difficult to impose restrictions on it,” Andrey Tretelnikov, senior analyst at Rye, Man and Gor Securities in Moscow, told City A.M.
“Everyone is still happy to do business in Russia – business is business.”
Evraz separately said it had agreed to sell a stake in its South African unit for $27m to local investor Macrovest.
Shares closed up 2.9 per cent at 103p.