Rosneft's cost cut on $13 billion loan - bankers

LONDON Tue Feb 5, 2013 12:39pm GMT

A view shows the fuel price board of a Rosneft petrol station near the Ostankino television tower in Moscow October 23, 2012. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

A view shows the fuel price board of a Rosneft petrol station near the Ostankino television tower in Moscow October 23, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin

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LONDON (Reuters) - Rosneft's (ROSN.MM) bankers have agreed to cut its cost for a $13 billion (8 billion pounds) acquisition loan, and the Russian oil company plans to sign the jumbo loan soon, three bankers close to the deal said.

The interest margin that Rosneft is paying for the loan has been cut by 10 basis points (bps).

The loan includes a term loan and a bridge loan to a bond issue. After the cut, the term loan is priced at 200 bps over LIBOR, and the bridge loan is priced at 140 bps over.

The move lowers what bankers said was already highly competitive pricing.

Rosneft declined to comment.

The loan will fund Rosneft's acquisition of rival TNK-BP TNBP.MM to become the world's largest listed oil producer. The significance of the deal means there was little doubt that Rosneft would secure the cost cut, the bankers said.

The loan is the second stage of a total of $29.8 billion in financing for the deal after Rosneft secured $16.8 billion in loans in the first stage last year.

The $29.8 billion total is the largest-ever loan financing to a Russian company and Europe's ninth-largest loan ever.

Bank of Merrill Lynch and Citigroup are coordinating both loans.

(Reporting by Michelle Meineke and Alasdair Reilly; editing by Jane Baird)

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