OGK-3 Prepares For Ruble Drop

OGK-3 has converted more than $560 million worth of rubles into dollars to hedge against a devaluation of the currency, financial director Dmitry Katiyev said Tuesday.

"We understand that a devaluation is possible, and in order to have funds for our capital expenditures we are changing to other currencies, which is to say, we are hedging," Katiyev said.

On Nov. 12, the generator purchased $362.6 million at a rate of 27.575 rubles per dollar from Gazprombank. On Nov. 13, it purchased another $205.6 million from Gazprombank at 27.726 rubles, the company said in a statement. The ruble traded at about 27.43 per dollar Tuesday.

Last year, OGK-3 raised $3.1 billion from the sale of a 65 percent stake to Norilsk Nickel, giving it a cash pile large enough to weather the financial crisis more easily than most of its peers.

Katiyev said OGK-3 had so much cash available that banks have actually asked the company for loans.

"We haven't been meeting those requests so far," Katiyev said, declining to name the banks.

He added that the firm would not need to take out any major loans until at least 2012. "I expect our company's debt will not be significant in the coming years," Katiyev said.

"We are not speculators. We are not trying to get an extra profit but are simply counting on avoiding the devaluation of the assets we have," he said.