EuroChem Secures $1.5Bln Loan

Fertilizer maker EuroChem on Tuesday secured a $1.5 billion syndicated loan from international banks in a deal hailed by the government as a sign of confidence in the crisis-hit Russian economy.

EuroChem said it had signed an agreement for the four-year loan with a group of major banks. The funds will contribute to a $3.2 billion investment program as well as refinancing existing debt and boosting working capital.

"The extension of credit to a Russian company is confirmation that foreign financial institutions believe in our economy," Denis Manturov, a deputy industry and trade minister, said in a separate statement. "The government is now paying specific attention to supporting the real economy, and concrete measures for a whole range of sectors are already being worked out."

EuroChem gave no more details of the loan.