VEB Chairman V.A. Dmitriev Talks about Agreement on Arranging Debut Syndicated Credit
On July 27, 2005, Vnesheconombank signed an agreement on arranging a debut-syndicated credit. The funds have been attracted for a three-year period at LIBOR +0.9%. The amount of credit under the decision made by Vnesheconombank is 500 million US dollars.
The deal aroused a great interest among foreign investors. The amount of bids received is in excess of 600 million US dollars. It doubled the initially declared amount of credit.
The leading arrangers of the syndicated credit were ABN AMRO, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and Deutsche Bank, and the arrangers were Bayerische Landesbank, CALYON Corporate and Investment Bank, Citibank, Erste Bank, HSBC Bank plc, HSH Nordbank, HVB Group (Bank Austria Creditanstalt) Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank AG), ICICI Bank UK Limited, ING Bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank NA, Mizuho Corporate Bank and The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi.
Under the credit agreement signed, the attracted funds would be used to finance the Bank's customers operations. The funds will be used to carry out projects which give high priority to promote Russian non-raw materials exports in third countries and to the production of import-substituting goods.
Vnesheconombank was the first Russian bank to attract one of the largest unsecured loans at the lowest current rate, which had never been lower than LIBOR+1% for Russian banks. The deal involves 40 banks from Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East, which is one of the largest syndicates operating on the Russian syndicated loans market.
After the signing ceremony Vnesheconombank Chairman V.A. Dmitriev talked to journalists.
The Chairman of Vnesheconombank said that the unprecedentedly low rate of obtaining the credit from Western banks was attributable to VEB's stable position and dynamic development.
The Chairman of Vnesheconombank says that VEB has been assigned a high credit rating in line with a sovereign one by all the leading international rating agencies. "VEB is associated with sovereign risk as it is a 100% state -owned bank", said VEB's Chairman. Besides, according to V.A. Dmitriev,VEB demonstrates sustainable dynamic growth.
"The fact that VEB succeeded in arranging a syndicated credit at the lowest rate on the Russian market for syndicated credits would allow the Bank to reduce rates for its customers", said V.A. Dmitriev.
It was also stressed that Vnesheconombank would not be reducing rates at damping speed but would adopt a moderately aggressive approach in this respect.
At the moment, the Bank has more than 15 projects, which are most likely to be financed by extending credits from the funds received under the credit agreement signed. The Bank plans to channel funds, above all, to oil refining, chemical industry, telecommunications, space industry, woodworking industry, transport and diesel engineering. A portion of the funds would be used to carry out infrastructural projects, above all, in the Krasnoyarsk region with which VEB had signed an agreement on cooperation earlier.
VEB's Chairman noted that the Bank does not have any serious borrowing plans until the end of the year. "So far, our loan portfolio is sufficiently financed", said V.A. Dmitriev adding that, if required, VEB could make a decision on additional borrowings. The Bank's Chairman said that arranging credits is not an end in itself for the Bank. "It's not an end in itself. New projects are emerging and we searching for financing facilities".
VEB has no plans to extend credits to finance the Transsiberian Pipeline Construction Project .
"As far as I know, a concept has not been formulated yet and technical specifications have not been approved either", said V.A. Dmitriev.
At the same time, the Bank's Chairman said that Transneft was likely to make a decision on whether to finance this project based on various proposals' commercial appeal and reminded that VEB is a member of the interdepartmental working group responsible for defining a concept of theTranssiberian pipeline construction.
Mr. Dmitriev made it clear that VEB was not involved in the scheme under which Rosneft purchased Yuganskneftegaz and the question of financing the deal from MinFin's funds through Vnesheconombank had never been raised. VEB received a credit from Chinese banks to finance Rosneft's long-term uninterrupted oil supplies to China, and this has no relation to YUKOS' largest asset.