Russian return poses lender dilemma

By Mariam Meskin
23 Jan 2020

Russian borrowers are hitting the loan market early this year, as they push for tighter margins and looser covenants as volumes shrink. Norilsk Nickel, the nickel and palladium producer, is refinancing an existing $2.5bn facility, which bankers say will have tighter margins than the original deal that boasted the slimmest margins of any Russian syndicated loan in 2017. But not all lenders are as willing to concede to the Russians, writes Mariam Meskin.

The existing loan being refinanced is a five year $2.5bn facility signed in December 2017, comprising a $500m tranche and a $2bn tranche, both of which were priced at 150bp over Libor.

“We are certain that Norilsk Nickel will get slightly lower margins this time around,” said a senior banker close to ...

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