Russia’s second largest bank to refinance liabilities

October 13th, 2008 - 4:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Oct 13 (RIA Novosti) Russia’s second largest bank, VTB, will apply to state-controlled development bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) for a loan to refinance its $11.4 billion foreign liabilities in 2008-2009, its chief Andrei Kostin has said. VEB has been granted $50 billion from the country’s international reserves to extend loans to Russian companies and banks to help them meet their foreign liabilities amid the ongoing global financial crisis.

“Until the end of this year, we need to repay around $2.4 billion in foreign loans. I don’t think that we will raise money on public capital markets this year, and therefore we have turned to VEB for debt refinancing,” Kostin said.

The VTB chief executive said the bank also had to repay around $9 billion in 2009 and planned to use international loans and VEB’s funds to repay its foreign liabilities.

The current global credit crunch has led to record losses on Russia’s financial markets, rising interest rates, and a liquidity shortage.

Kostin also said that the VTB management board would soon consider cutting the bank’s expenditures by up to 20 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 and freezing them in 2009.

“So far, we have no plans to lay off staff, but we will not take any new staff on. We are also freezing expenditures, for example, spending on real estate,” Kostin said.

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