September 05, 2014 11:48
RZD cannot receive NWF funds to purchase Mechel railway line - Finance Ministry
MOSCOW. Sept 5 (Interfax) - The Russian Finance Ministry said it was impossible to give Russian Railways (RZD) (MOEX: RZHD) funds from the National Welfare Fund (NWF) to purchase a railway line from Russian mining and steel company OJSC Mechel (MOEX: MTLR), Russian newspaper Vedomosti cited a ministry representative as saying Friday.
There will also not be any government guarantees, the representative said, adding that RZD will pay Vnesheconombank (VEB) using "synchronized funding" from banks that are Mechel's largest creditors.
RZD President Vladimir Yakunin told journalists in Yekaterinburg Thursday that the possibility of allocating funds from the NWF was being considered as a way for RZD to purchase the Mechel railway line to the Elginskoye field.
"A current variant is using bridge money from the National Welfare Fund followed by a return guaranteed by the state. That is, the government must ultimately give us funds for charter capital so that we can pay for this since our financial standing and the size of the investment program do not alone allow for these projects to be completed," he said on the sidelines of the Coordinating Council on Trans-Siberian Transportation (CCTT) forum.
RZD supports the actions of the government in every way possible to stabilize Mechel's economic situation, Yakunin said, adding that the company was ready to participate in this. Asked whether the current price of 70 billion rubles was being considered for the railway line, he said: "At least now we are talking about this [amount of] money."
A Mechel representative confirmed the fact that talks took place on selling the railway line, but did not give the newspaper further comment.
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