February 5, 2013 / 10:52 AM / in 4 years

REFILE-RLPC-Gazprom Neft eyes loan for up to $1 bln-bankers

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(Refiles to change Gazpromneft to Gazprom Neft throughout)

By Michelle Meineke

LONDON, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Russian state-controlled oil company Gazprom Neft is looking for a syndicated loan of up to $1 billion, marking its first sizeable deal in two years, two bankers said.

Gazprom Neft was not immediately available for comment.

The deal will be welcomed by volume-hungry international banks keen to bolster their portfolios after Russian volumes dried up when Europe's economic crisis hit in 2012.

International banks are expected to submit their proposals for the deal, which will be used for general corporate purposes, by mid-February.

Gazprom Neft's last large deal was a $600 million, five-year loan in April 2011 via coordinator Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data.

Rated BBB- by Standard & Poor's and Baa3 by Moody's, the oil company exports to over fifty countries, including the CIS and Europe. (Reporting by Michelle Meineke; Editing by Mark Potter)

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