MOSCOW: Russia’s biggest oil company Rosneft is considering offering 2.4 trillion rubles ($66.2 billion) in ruble-denominated bonds to finance its colossal debt in possible response to the weakening ruble and the risk of sanctions over Russia’s seizure of Crimea, a report said Tuesday.
The Kommersant business daily said the state-controlled company was “discussing the possibility” of launching the unprecedented high-volume bond offering if the ruble comes under further market pressure, which would make it more expensive to pay back its dollar- denominated debt.
Kommersant said that Rosneft’s total debt amounted to 1.9 trillion rubles ($52.4 billion) at the end of 2013 partly due to its acquisition of TNK-BP from BP and a consortium of Russian billionaires, which meant it took on $16.8 billion in syndicated loans.
Without giving further details, Kommersant said its sources did not exclude that the company could be preparing for the consequences of possible international sanctions over Russia’s seizure of Crimea.
“The company has taken credits from Western banks and the ruble instrument is diversification,” it quoted a source as saying.
The paper that bankers believed that despite the huge size of the offering it would be readily taken up by the markets.