VEB Loans Out $800M to Evraz Group

Steel maker Evraz Group said Monday that it had signed an agreement for an $800 million loan from state-owned Vneshekonombank to refinance short-term debt.

The company, part-owned by billionaire Roman Abramovich, in November secured $1.8 billion in loans from VEB, including a $1.01 billion loan and a credit line worth $800 million.

VEB has been entrusted by the Kremlin to distribute a $50 billion rescue package to help Russian companies refinance $120 billion in Western loans by the end of 2009.

Analysts said earlier that Evraz has about $2.1 billion in debt maturing in 2009, along with roughly $700 million in interest payments.

Much of it stems from the $2.3 billion purchase this year of Canadian steel pipe maker IPSCO.

Evraz's Global Depositary Receipts closed up 8.3 percent in London at $10.52.