LONDON Aug 14 Russian state-owned bank VTB
is asking several European banks that committed to a
$1.5 billion loan which was cancelled after the bank appeared on
a US sanctions list if they will lend to it on a bilateral
basis, banking sources said.
EU and further US sanctions in mid July ended VTB's plans to
raise an international syndicated loan. Banks had already
committed to the one-year loan, which was being arranged by
Barclays, and was about to be signed when VTB was included in US
The Russian bank is now quietly approaching banks that had
joined the deal to see if they will lend on a bilateral basis.
"VTB is approaching all the European banks that had got
credit approval for the deal to see if it can agree some
bilaterals instead," a banker close to the deal said.
VTB declined to comment.
The $1.5 billion loan, which refinanced a $3.13 billion
facility agreed in 2011 included commitments from US and
Japanese banks and would have reopened the Russian loan market
which had been effectively shut since Russia's annexation of the
Crimea in March.
VTB is now looking at other ways of raising funds, but
bankers are sceptical that any banks will agree to provide
bilateral loans now that the bank is on the US sanctions list.
"I can't see a reason to do a bilateral with VTB unless we
get something really good out of it," a second banker said.
On August 1, VTB issued a statement saying that it had
repaid the $3.13 billion syndicated loan with its own funds on
July 14, days before the new sanctions were issued.
(Editing by Tessa Walsh)