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Metals giant Evraz Group receives $1.8 bln loan from VEB

MOSCOW, November 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's mining and metals company Evraz Group, controlled by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, has received a $1.8 billion loan to refinance its foreign liabilities, a business paper reported on Monday.

According to Vedomosti, the Supervisory Board of state-controlled national development bank, Vnesheconombank (VEB), approved on Friday loans worth a total of $2 billion to refinance deals concluded by companies in the Russian mining and microelectronic industries.

A source close to VEB told Vedomosti that Evraz Group had received the $1.8 billion as requested out of that sum.

The terms of the loan have not been disclosed and Evraz Group representatives declined to comment, Vedomosti said.

Evraz Group's debt totaled about $10.24 billion as of late September, of which short-term liabilities stood at $4.14 billion, with $2.2 billion due to be repaid by the end of this year, Vedomosti said.

The paper quoted Dmitry Smolin, an analyst with Uralsib investment group, as saying that $800 million out of the $2.2 bln short-term debt included a loan taken by Evraz Group to buy IPSCO, a leading steel supplier in Canada and the United States.

IPSCO's assets were pledged as security for the loan and Evraz could lose them if the company failed to repay the sum due, Smolin said.

According to Vedomosti, the Russian government has allocated $50 billion to VEB to assist Russian companies and banks refinance their foreign debts amid the ongoing global financial crisis.

With Friday's $2 bln decision, VEB has already spent $10 billion: in October the national development bank approved loans worth $7.5 billion, of which $4.5 billion went to aluminum giant RusAl and $2 billion to banking group Alfa Group, Vedomosti said.

According to the paper, VEB President Vladimir Dmitriyev earlier said the bank had received loan applications worth over $100 billion from Russian companies and banks.

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