Russia's Rusal signs refinancing deal
Russia's Rusal aluminium giant said Thursday it had refinanced another $4.75 billion (3.5 billion euros) in debt that will open the way for shareholder dividend payments.
The world's largest aluminium firm said a loan facility was agreed with 13 international and Russian banks that include BNP Paribas, ING Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Rusal signed a similar $4.58-billion deal with Sberbank last week and has now refinanced $9.33 billion of its estimated $11.4 billion debt.
A 2009 restructuring agreement with creditors said dividend payments would only be allowed once most of the debts were either settled or restructured.
The latest deal "opens new development opportunities including investments in capacity extension programmes and the possibility of paying dividends to company shareholders," said Rusal equity and corporate development director Oleg Mukhamedshin.
Rusal was left with massive debts by the 2008-2009 financial crisis and has been under pressure to part with its 25-percent stake in the world's largest nickel producer Norilsk Nickel, but no deal has been reached.
Rusal, whose shares are listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, is responsible for about 10 percent of global aluminium production and is controlled by tycoon Oleg Deripaska.
© 2011 AFP