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Emerging Europe - Best loan and structured borrower


It has been a big year for TNK. Its $3 billion merger with BP was the biggest deal of the year for the region, and the biggest ever one-off equity investment in Russia.

That deal was in part possible thanks to the reputation for transparency and sound management that the Russian oil company has built up in the debt market in recent years, and the professionalism it has shown in its debt dealings in the past 12 months.

TNK has stood out as the most sophisticated borrower in the loan market this year, which has been dominated in central and eastern Europe by big structured loans for oil companies. Usually, such loans are backed by oil exports with a fixed off-taker: an oil company is obliged to sell its oil to a certain buyer for the length of the loan. Obviously, this puts the buyer in a strong negotiating position on price. TNK, however, has now built up sufficient trust among its lenders to develop a structure without a fixed off-taker.

TNK CFO Joseph Bakaleinik says: "Banks are becoming confident enough in us to understand that we don't need a major oil company to handle our trading."

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