LONDON May 14 Russian gas giant Gazprom OAO has invited banks to a non-deal roadshow in Taiwan next week to update investors on the company's financial performance and funding plan as the West prepares to extend Russian sanctions, bankers said on Wednesday.
The invitation comes two weeks after Gazprom met Asian investors to explore ways of raising new loans and bonds. The company is also trying to extend an existing $500 million loan that is due to mature in July.
Deutsche Bank is coordinating the roadshow which is scheduled for May 21 in Taipei, sources said.
Alexander Ivannikov, Gazprom's first deputy CFO, Alexei Finikov, deputy head of the company's debt department and Ekaterina Kamysheva, head of Gazprom's loan department, will update banks on the company's latest financial performance as well as its potential funding plan as well as Russia's political and macroeconomic environment, the invitation said.
Gazprom was not immediately available for comment.
Some Russian companies are exploring raising loans in Asia, as Europe's syndicated loan market remains effectively closed.
Taiwanese banks are among Asia's most active lenders, but have expressed reservations about joining Russian loans due to unpredictable risks from the Ukraine crisis.
"Our lending limits to Russian companies have been frozen," said a senior loan banker from a major Taiwanese government-owned bank.
"Russian firms like Gazprom are good quality and have a good reputation. But if they are put in the sanction list, we are afraid of defaults if we loan them money." he added.
The European Union expanded sanctions on two Crimean companies and 13 people on Monday and the US has proposed new energy sanctions.
"There is little chance that we can join a deal from Gazprom as the situation in Russia is too complicated," said another banker at a Taiwanese commercial bank. (Editing by Tessa Walsh)