Russian economic waives Rosneftegaz scheme to pay for Gazprom stock

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MOSCOW, August 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Economic Development and Trade Ministry does not intend to use Rosneftegaz borrowings to pay for a 10.74% stake in Russia's natural gas monopoly, Gazprom, a spokesman for the ministry said Wednesday.

"Now Rosneft is burdened with credit commitments, and its financial standing is not good enough to receive a loan against oil export supplies," the spokesman said.

Trade and Economic Development Minister German Gref recently said Rosneftegaz might receive a one-year loan of $7.5 billion from a Western bank syndicate to purchase a stake in Gazprom, with a non-controlling stake in Rosneft to be used as collateral for the loan, which would be repaid by selling a different non-controlling stake in Rosneft.

"This will be a strict sale of shares and not a placement of shares," the minister said. "The IPO gives money to Rosneft, but we need to receive money for Rosneftegaz to pay creditors."

Rosneftegaz is a holding company for state-owned Rosneft shares created by the government to gain a majority stake in Gazprom. The loan will be used to pay for a 10.74% stake in Gazprom, which has already been purchased by Rosneftegaz.

Rosneftegaz has held talks on the loan with Morgan Stanley, ABN Amro, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.

Rosneftegaz purchased 10.74% of Gazprom's shares, which were owned by the company's subsidiaries Gazprombank, Gazprominvestholding, Gazfond and Gazprom Finance B.V.

Rosneftegaz will pay 203.5 billion rubles (about $7 billion) for the package.

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