Russian oil producer OAO Lukoil Holdings agreed last year to borrow more than $1 billion from state-controlled lender OAO Sberbank, nearly half at double-digit interest, business daily Vedomosti reports Friday. In February 2009, Lukoil withdrew RUB17 billion (about $530 million at the time) and $500 million from its lines of credit at Sberbank. Terms weren't disclosed, but Vedomosti found details of the loans in minutes of Sberbank board meetings for 2009. One of the two loans was for one year and totaled RUB35 billion, at an annual interest rate of at least 14%. The other was a three-year loan for EUR1 billion (or the U.S. dollar equivalent), at interest of 7.25% a year if in euros or 7.75% in dollars.
Lukoil's head of investor relations, Gennady Krasovsky, confirmed that the company borrowed from the two lines of credit. A Sberbank representative declined to comment. Krasovsky said both loans were repaid in January of this year using proceeds from a $1.5 billion placement of Eurobonds last October. The 14% interest on the ruble loan from Sberbank was acceptable, he said, because that was the best the market was offering a year ago.