Alfa, Rosneft Get $3Bln to Refinance Debts

The government has disbursed around $3 billion to billionaire Mikhail Fridman's Alfa Group and state-controlled Rosneft to help refinance their foreign debts, government and industry sources said Thursday.

Fridman and Rosneft joined Oleg Deripaska, who this week became the first billionaire to get state support in refinancing his massive foreign debts.

The source said the supervisory board of state agent Vneshekonombank agreed to disburse $2 billion to Alfa to help it pay back a loan to Deutsche Bank and rescue the company's large stake in VimpelCom, which was used as collateral with the bank.

Rosneft, which owes $22 billion to creditors, will receive around $800 million, sources said.

Vedomosti reported Thursday that Russian Railways would receive $270 million and that PIK Group would get $300 million.

Deripaska's United Company RusAl received $4.5 billion from VEB to pay back debt to foreign banks, which it amassed to buy a blocking stake in Norilsk Nickel, banking sources said Wednesday.

Vedomosti also said VEB took both Alfa's stake in VimpelCom and RusAl's stake in Norilsk as collateral and could end up owning these assets if the borrowers fail to pay the loans back by Dec. 31, 2009, when VEB must return the funds it is lending to the Central Bank.