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11:40
EBRD'S CREDIT TO NAFTOGAZ TO SETTLE ONLY CURRENT PROBLEMS OF STATE HOLDING, SAY EXPERTS

Kyiv, August 4 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The $750 million credit extended by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to National JSC Naftogaz Ukrainy will settle the current problems of the state holding, but it is unlikely that it will satisfy its financial needs in full, according to experts polled by Interfax-Ukraine.

An analyst from Kyiv-based Concorde Capital Investment Company, Andriy Herus, said that the size of the credit is large enough for the company's current activities, although it does not settle all of its problems.

"This [will cover] payments to Russia for gas for 1.5-2 months," he said.

In turn, the senior analyst of Kyiv-based Sokrat Investment Company, Serhiy Nevmerzhytsky, said that $750 million is not enough to support the company's ability to generate income in the future.

" Europe's interest in pumping gas to underground storage facilities by Ukraine and preparations for gas transit to Europe in the winter period is evident here," the expert said.

The senior analyst from the Kyiv-based Ukrainian Stock Center, Artem Kost, said that one of the key current problems of Naftogaz Ukrainy is making timely payments for natural gas bought in Russia and its purchase for pumping to underground storage facilities.

"To all appearances, the EBRD's $750 million credit will not satisfy the financial needs of the state company. However, one can say that the EBRD is only one participant in the creditor pool that gives gas credits to Ukraine, so we need to wait for the final details of the loan," he said.

The expert said that the EBRD usually lends funds to borrowers under concrete investment programs, and in case with Naftogaz it could be modernization of the Ukrainian gas transit system and reform of the gas market, and it is unlikely that the state company would be able to settle its current problems in full using the said credit.

An economist at Kyiv-based Astrum Investment Management, Oleksiy Blinov, also said that the EBRD's credit would be issued in two tranches.

"The first tranche of $300 million would be issued this year to buy imported gas. This sum is not large. For example, the payment for imported gas in July is estimated to be two times bigger than the first tranche. Only 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas could be bought for $300 million, while the gas balance approved by the cabinet for H2, 2009 foresees the purchase of 23.5 billion cubic meters of gas, and winter gas agreements foresee the purchase of 24.5 billion cubic meters of gas in H2, 2009," the expert said.

An analyst from Kyiv-based Dragon Capital Investment Company, Denys Sakva, also said that the EBRD's credit would only settle the immediate problems of Naftogaz Ukrainy.

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