The trading division of Russian metals firm Mechel has pulled in a syndicated US$180mn loan to refinance some of the group’s short-term debt.

The money comes with a three-year tenor after an 18-month grace period and Mechel says that it could almost double the funds to US$350mn if more banks are interested.

Currently, ING, UniCredit and Barclays are providing the funds and Mechel has not revealed which other banks may be involved.

The money is supported with a pre-export finance condition of Mechel Trading’s offtake contracts.

“Receiving long-term loans on competitive terms, given the state of global financial markets, demonstrates the trust the international banking community puts in us as a high-quality borrower,” says Mechel chief financial officer Stanislav Ploschenko.

“We value very highly our partnership with the lending banks in this deal, and we believe that it is cooperation in a difficult market situation that lays the most solid platform for long-term relationships.”