MOSCOW, July 31 The main owner of TMK,
Russia's largest maker of steel pipes, said on Thursday the
company would cut investment and focus on easing its debt burden
due to West-imposed sanctions on Russian banks over the crisis
Almost all the largest Russian banks have been slapped with
sanctions that bar them from raising money in Western capital
markets, in by far the strongest international steps yet against
Moscow over its support for Ukraine's rebels.
"From the point of view of the banks of course we assume
there will be deterioration given that their abilities to find
funding will worsen, so we will make efforts to reduce our
credit load," billionaire Dmitry Pumpyansky told journalists.
The majority of TMK's debt is held by sanctions-hit banks
VTB and Gazprombank.
The company's main investment projects are likely to be
finished in the next couple of years, Pumpyansky said.
"Therefore we will invest less and use the extra money to repay
TMK, the majority of whose business is focused on the
domestic oil and gas industry, has not felt any direct impact
from sanctions, he said.
(Reporting by Aleksei Anishchuk; Writing by Alessandra
Prentice; Editing by Dale Hudson)