June 9 (Reuters) – Russian steam coal producer SUEK is the country’s latest commodity exporter to seek lender proposals for a pre-export syndicated loan, although their initial pricing request is too low, bankers close to the deal said.
SUEK, Russia’s leading producer, controlled by tycoons Andrei Melnichenko and Sergei Popov, is looking to raise $500-700 million, one of the bankers added, but the euro zone crisis is pushing up funding costs and SUEK’s initial pricing request is too low, they added. [ID:nLDE6581J2]
“The pricing SUEK hopes to get is indeed tight for today’s world with the increasing dollar liquidity costs,” one of the bankers said. “The all-in pricing (requested) is somewhere in 3.30-3.45 percent range, but nothing has been set in stone yet.”
SUEK officials were not immediately available for comment.
SUEK’s move to secure for pre-export financing, where the loan is secured on exports, follows similar action by oil firms Gazprom Neft (SIBN.MM) and Tatneft (TATN3.MM) and steel firm Mechel (MTL.N). [ID:nLDE65100X] [ID:nLDE62F10E] [ID:nLDE64R1NG]
SUEK’s previous loan was an $800 million syndicated pre-export loan signed in May 2008. The loan was split between a $533.3 million, three-year tranche and a $266.6 million, five-year facility.
The margin on the three-year facility was 140 basis points (bps) over LIBOR, while the five-year was 150 bps for the first two years, rising to 160 bps in year three and 170 bps thereafter.
SUEK is a major shareholder in a number of Siberian and Far Eastern power companies with total generating capacity of 13 gigawatts.
(Reporting by Christopher Mangham; editing by Simon Jessop)