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International banks sitting on sidelines
Journal Staff Report

LONDON, March 30 - International banks are waiting for the outcome of Ukraine's sovereign debt restructuring before embarking on billions of dollars of corporate financial restructuring in the war-torn region, Reuters reported.

More than $5.2 billion of corporate debt in the form of international syndicated loans, pre-export financings and project finance deals is due to mature in the next three years, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data.

All but a handful of these loans have been passed into the hands of the banks' work out or restructuring teams as Ukraine's political situation continues to wreak havoc with its economy.

"There are only a small handful of Ukrainian clients who are not already in default or heading that way," a loan banker said.

On March 24, Ukraine's largest power and coal producer, Donbass Fuel Energy Co Holding (DTEK), met with all of its bank lenders to discuss restructuring its loans, banking sources said.

The company has not entered a formal restructuring process and a coordinating committee of lenders has not been formed.

DTEK has had monthly waivers since November 2014 to prevent it defaulting on its loans. Talks have started to restructure the group's debt with reduced repayments and maturity extensions across the company's loan portfolio.

"DTEK is looking to 're-profile' its debt. The discussions were based around pushing out maturities in conjunction with a guarantee that it will repay at least 10 percent of the maturing debt," one banker close to the talks said.

DTEK did not respond to requests for comment.

DTEK has an outstanding $375 million syndicated loan comprising a $152.5 million term loan that matures in August 2016 and a $225 million term loan that matures in 2018, according to LPC data.

It also has an outstanding 416 million euro facility signed in October 2012 that comprises a 135 million euro term loan which matures in October and a 281 million euro term loan that matures in October 2017.

Financial advisory mandates could soon be coming for DTEK, restructuring advisors said, which indicate that the company could be heading towards a more formal debt restructuring.

"There have been some beauty parades by Ukrainian companies looking for financial advisers and a couple have already engaged them; we expect DTEK to come," one London-based restructuring adviser said. (rt/ez)




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