Sibneft Signs Major Financing Deal

Moscow, 27 March 2001; Sibneft has signed a major new loan agreement worth $175 million, the second largest medium-term syndicated facility to be secured by a Russian company since the country's financial crisis in 1998. The two-year syndicated loan was jointly arranged by Dutch ING Bank and France's Societe Generale.

Initial syndication of the loan took place in early March and was oversubscribed. The lenders include Germany's Commerzbank, Austria's Erste Bank, Switzerland's Banque Cantonale Vaudoise, Moscow Narodny Bank and KBC Bank. The funds will be used to finance Sibneft's capital expenditure, which is this year set to climb to $595 million in the upstream alone.

Sibneft last year signed a landmark $180 million thirteen-month facility, which was named EEMEA Emerging Market Loan of the Year by International Financing Review (IFR), a leading London-based weekly covering international capital markets. The company also secured $100 million loan arranged by Germany's WestLB and France's Credit Lyonnais.

Sibneft was the first Russian company to receive a major loan from a Western bank in the wake of the country's financial crisis, securing a $76.5 million credit from WestLB in September 1998. Sibneft also repaid a $200 million zero-coupon note in the same month.

The company has remained active in international lending markets and has signed a number of smaller trade finance facilities over the past two years. Sibneft in August 2000 redeemed a $150 million Eurobond, and currently has a low level of debt.