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VEB to grant $80 bln loan to Russian enterprises

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DAVOS, January 24 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian state Development Bank (VEB) is planning to issue a two trillion ruble ($80 billion) loan to the Russian economy, the bank's chairman said on Thursday.

Vladimir Dmitriyev said VEB, a state-run corporation, would grant loans to companies in a variety of sectors, in particular infrastructure and power plant and oil refining projects.

He said VEB could become involved in implementing energy projects in Chechnya, building a power plant on the Argun River and modernizing the Grozny heat and electric power station, investing a total of around 6 billion rubles ($240 million).

VEB will also provide around $2 billion to a paper and pulp plant in the Lower Angara Area, whose construction is due to begin in mid-2009.

It was earlier reported that VEB would lend $2 billion to state oil firm Rosneft to help it modernize the Tuapse refinery on the Black Sea.

Dmitriyev did not say exactly when the loan agreement would be signed.

Rosneft is implementing a two-stage upgrade program for the Tuapse oil transshipment complex to last through 2012.

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