August 24, 2009 / 9:29 AM / in 10 years

UPDATE 1-Sibir Energy secures $200 mln loan from Sberbank

* Sibir secures $200 mln loan for 2 years

* Funds go to support company’s operational activity

(Adds background)

MOSCOW, August 24 (Reuters) - Russia’s biggest lender, state-controlled Sberbank SBER03.MM, said on Monday it had granted a $200 million loan to Magma, a subsidiary of mid-sized oil and gas explorer Sibir Energy SBE.L.

The facility is provided to finance the company’s operational activity and has a maturity of two years.

Sberbank holds a minor stake in Sibir Energy which was pledged as loan collateral by troubled oil-to-property tycoon Shalva Chigirinsky, who faces several lawsuits in different jurisdictions to meet obligations on Western loans.

Sibir Energy has become an acquisition target for Gazprom Neft (SIBN.MM), the oil arm of the world’s largest gas company Gazprom (GAZP.MM).

Gazprom Neft has amassed a stake of just under 49 percent in Sibir Energy in recent months. The Moscow city government, together with the Bank of Moscow, holds a 19.3 percent stake. (Reporting by Dmitry Sergeev; Editing by David Holmes)

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