LONDON Aug 14 Russia's largest independent oil
producer Lukoil, signed a $1 billion bridge loan to a
potential US dollar bond with US banks Citigroup and JP Morgan
at the beginning of July, a source close to the deal said.
Lukoil hired Citi and JP Morgan to lead a US dollar bond in
March, which was delayed amid the political fallout from
Russia's annexation of the Crimea.
The bridge loan was signed in early July, just before
further Western sanctions were announced on July 16.
JP Morgan declined to comment, Citi and Lukoil were not
immediately available to comment.
Although Lukoil was not included in the most recent
sanctions, the measures have affected all Russian companies'
ability to refinance existing loans and even non-sanctioned
companies are unable to raise new loans.
Lukoil has said that the bond could still happen in the
autumn but no Russian bank or company has priced an
international bond since private bank Promsvyazbank printed a
US$300m seven-year Tier 2 note on July 15.
The last time Lukoil was in the market for a large loan was
August 2010, when the company raised a $1.5 billion unsecured
one year loan.
That deal was arranged by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ,
Citi, ING Bank, Natixis, Royal Bank of Scotland and WestLB, and
paid an all-in interest margin of 180-200 basis points over
Lukoil is rated BBB- by S&P, Baa2 by Moody's and BBB by
(Editing By Tessa Walsh)