Russian oil firm Bashneft is in talks with international banks to secure a US$500mn syndicated loan, sources close to the deal tell GTR.

Bashneft is believed to be holding off from signing anything in the hope that it can achieve a price similar to its last loan in August 2011 at 200 basis points.

GTR’s source says that Bashneft has been “sounding banks every month since last year with touching faith that pricing might be coming down”.

However, they add that as we move from Basel 2.5 to Basel III, pricing will continue to rise steadily, making it unlikely that Bashneft will achieve a ‘good’ price.

“I believe they will do a new deal when I see it, but there has indeed been some pick-up in the dialogue between the company and banks. Three years is where you go when you don’t like the pricing on five years.”

Deutsche Bank, which acted as mandated lead arranger and bookrunner on Bashneft’s last loan, was unable to provide official comment when contacted by GTR.

Bashneft’s 2011 loan raised US$300mn and was secured against crude oil contracts.