* Russian firms need to refinance about $112bln over 4 years
* Russia has 10 pct of EMEA maturities of $1.17 trillion
* Share has risen from 8 pct a year ago
MOSCOW, July 23 Russian companies, including oil
giant Rosneft, may face challenges refinancing $112
billion in debt due to mature over the next four years, which
includes a peak maturity wall to overcome in 2015, a report by
Moody's Investors Service said.
Moody's said there was a very significant bank and bond debt
maturity hurdle for Russian companies concentrated among Rosneft
and state-controlled gas company Gazprom in 2015.
Russian companies are facing tougher conditions to refinance
international loans since the West imposed sanctions on some of
them over Russia's involvement in Ukraine. On top of this, the
country's economy has slowed and is expected to grow just 0.5
percent this year.
Washington imposed a new round of sanctions last week on
Rosneft, gas producer Novatek and bank Gazprombank,
companies run by allies of Russian president Vladimir Putin
"This year ... refinancing for Russian issuers may present
more challenges than before," Moody's analysts wrote in the
report on investment-grade non-financial companies. "The peak
annual bank debt refinancing requirements of IG (investment
grade) issuers in Russia is in 2015," the report said.
Rosneft will need to repay $26.2 billion between July 2014
and December 2015, with peak repayments of $9.4 billion and
$11.8 billion in Q4 2014 and Q1 2015, respectively, according to
another recent report by Moody's. Moody's said it estimated that
approximately $5-6 billion of this will have to be refinanced.
Analysts have been concerned about Rosneft's ability to
attract funds as costs of borrowing have risen for Russian
companies after Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula from
Ukraine in March.
But Moody's said that Rosneft has taken steps to mitigate
refinancing risks by signing an oil contract with China's CNPC.
In June 2013, Rosneft and CNPC agreed to double oil flows to
China to 600,000 bpd in a $270 billion deal between 2018 and
2037 with partial pre-payments.
The Moody's report said that bank and bond debt held by
Russian investment grade companies accounts for approximately 10
percent of the total $1.17 trillion refinancing requirements due
between 2015 and 2018 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa
(EMEA). Germany, France and the UK have larger refinancing
needs, holding 15 percent each.
It is a greater share of the pie than Moody's year-ago
report showed for Russia - holding 8 percent of EMEA debt for
the years of 2014 to 2017.
The report said that Russian maturities were significantly
concentrated in the energy sector which accounts for 72 percent
of total Russian debt maturing in the next four years, with the
remaining 28 percent shared among the utilities, metals and
mining, transportation services, telecoms and chemicals
For a factbox detailing Rosneft's debt:
(Reporting by Megan Davies. Editing by Jane Merriman)