VTB Loans Linia Retail Chain $100M

VTB on Friday said it had loaned regional hypermarket chain Linia more than $100 million, the latest in a series of moves to support the sector.

The country's retailers have been among the most aggressive borrowers in the past few years and among the first to fall victim to a credit crunch that has made it too expensive to refinance.

State-controlled VTB, which is assessing more than $1 billion in applications from leading retailers, said Friday that it had set a one-year, 3 billion ruble ($109 million) credit limit for Grinn, the parent company of Linia.

The grocery chain is based in the Central Administrative District and has 17 stores, making it one of the 50 largest Russian retailers, Kommersant reported Nov. 4.

VTB said the company would use the funds to replenish its working capital and settle accounts with suppliers. The bank has already provided 12 billion rubles of financing to X5 Retail Group, Magnit and Sedmoi Kontinent.

(Reuters, MT)