NOVOSIBIRSK, October 8. /TASS/.VTB Bank sees no progress in resolving metal giant Mechel’s debt woes, VTB CEO Andrey Kostin said on Wednesday.
“We do not see any shifts so far,” Kostin said.
VTB Bank earlier filed a lawsuit against Mechel to recover 3 billion rubles ($76 million) in overdue debt from the metals giant.
Mechel, which was actively buying assets with foreign and domestic loans amid the 2008-2009 global economic slump, cannot service its debt, which has soared to over $8 billion. The metal giant is currently in talks with its major lenders to try to agree on rescheduling its liabilities.
Mechel’s major creditors are Russia’s largest lender Sberbank ($1.3 billion), Gazprombank ($2.3 billion) and VTB Bank ($1.8 billion).
Sberbank initiated in early October a series of lawsuits worth a total of 1.5 billion rubles ($38 million) against Mechel and its subsidiaries for debt recovery. The lawsuits were filed both against Mechel and its subsidiaries acting as Mechel’s guarantors.
The Mechel group incorporates coalmining divisions and producers of iron ore, steel, rolled stock, ferroalloys, high value added items, and thermal and electric power. It employs a total staff of 70,000 people. Its main shareholder Igor Zyuzin owns a 67.42% stake.