Intesa faces difficulties with a loan for the purchase of Rosneft

Negotiations with banks on refinancing a loan are threatened because of the anti-Russian sanctions.
The Italian bank Intesa has faced the problem of syndication of a € 5.2 billion loan to the Glencore consortium and Qatar Investment Autority (QIA) sovereign fund to buy 19.5% of Rosneft, Reuters reports citing bank sources.

The reason is the new US sanctions against Russia. The consortium bought shares of Rosneft on January 3, 2017 for 692 billion rubles. (10.2 billion euros).

The loan, issued by Intesa, was approved by the financial regulator of Italy. The deal does not contradict the EU sanctions against Russia, the Italian financial security committee reported in March.

 In May, it became known that the bank began to syndicate a loan of 5.2 billion euros. To participate in syndication up to 50% of the loan is invited to 15 international banks, reported Bloomberg and Reuters. Russian banks do not take part in this. Typically, syndication takes four to six weeks, in emerging markets, sometimes a little longer, notes Reuters.

But in July the US introduced new sanctions against Russia. "The new measures are quite large, they will certainly affect all such transactions involving Russian state companies," Reuters said in one London bank invited by Intesa to participate in the syndication. Banks, among which there are organizations from the US and France, are still assessing the impact of sanctions on the syndicated loan transaction for 5.2 billion euros. Another obstacle for the syndication was the diplomatic scandal around Qatar.

"Political tension around Qatar slowed down the deal, but the real problem arose when the US imposed new sanctions [against Russia] in July," the source said.

 "With the new sanctions, I expect big problems with lending projects under the guidance of Russian state companies <...> And, perhaps, for many private ones," one of the bank sources said.

Bankers say that they initially expected difficulties with syndication of the loan. In addition to this, Glencore and the Qatari fund never disclosed full information about the transaction. This makes banks wonder if they can syndicate without knowing all the beneficiaries of the transaction.

The representative of Intesa declined to comment. Get comments Glencore and QIA has not yet been successful.