Banks bid to lend 542 million euros to Bulgaria's Bulgartransgaz

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria’s state gas firm Bulgartransgaz said on Thursday it has received 10 offers by banks to lend it 542 million euros ($613.38 million) in six-year loans and help it finance an extension of Russia’s TurkStream gas pipeline.

The company has to make advance payments to Saudi-led group Arkad, which it has contracted to build the 474 km pipeline extension dubbed Balkan Stream and to a Bulgarian-led group that will install compressor stations for the gas link.

ING Bank, Citibank Europe, International Bank for Economic Co-operation, VTB Bank Europe as well as the Bulgarian units of Raiffeisen, Unicredit, KBC Group, Eurobank and OTP Bank have offered to provide funds to Bulgartransgaz.

Bulgartransgaz has also received an offer by a tie-up between state-run Bulgarian Development Bank, Municipality Bank and Budapest-based International Investment Bank.

“The combined amount of the offers totals 542 million euros. The interest rates for each of the six years of the offered loans vary between 1.35% to 3.5%,” the company said in a statement.

Bulgartransgaz, which sought to borrow 400 million euros, said it would now start talks with the lenders and seal lending contracts.

Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama