* Company blames a slump in its shares on speculation
* Asks Russia's Central Bank to review the case
(Adds details, comments, context, updates shares)
MOSCOW Feb 28 Shares in indebted Russian coal
miner and steelmaker Mechel collapsed by more
than one-third in Moscow on Friday in a move the company said
Like other Russian steelmakers, Mechel, which is controlled
by billionaire Igor Zyuzin, invested heavily in expansion before
the 2008 financial crisis hit demand, forcing it to borrow to
Its shares were down 29.5 percent at 37.6 roubles in Moscow
by 0834 GMT. Earlier on Friday, their fall reached 40 percent -
a record low.
Mechel blamed the slump on speculation, saying the company's
financial position was stable. It also asked the Russian Central
Bank to review the case.
Two traders and two analysts said the move was probably
caused by a so-called margin call, in which a bank sells shares
held as security against loans. The low liquidity of Mechel's
shares in Moscow exaggerated the move, they added.
The company saw the similar trading day on Nov. 13, when its
shares fell 40 percent in Moscow, hit by concerns over a
proposed debt restructuring. By the end of 2013, it managed to
agree new loan terms with the main banks.
The company's net debt stood at $9.4 billion as of late
2013. It plans to raise around $1 billion from the sale of
assets this year which would help it to offset the $2 billion
debt it has to repay next year, the company said in December.
(Reporting by Zlata Garasyuta and Polina Devitt, editing by