Vnesheconombank, one of the oldest Russian banks, has signed a US$800mn syndicated term loan facility arranged by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), Deutsche Bank AG London, Dresdner Kleinwort and RZB (bookrunners).

The transaction was launched at US$500mn and was very well received by investors in both senior and general syndication.

Before the launch of general syndication, the initial mandated lead arrangers have been joined by BayernLB, Erste Bank, HSBC Bank, Mizuho Corporate Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe as mandated lead arrangers and Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Mediobanca – Banca di Credito Finanziario and Wachovia Bank as arrangers, resulting in an oversubscription at the senior phase.

Some 15 financial institutions joined the transaction in the general phase syndication and at close of syndication commitments exceeded more than US$800mn.

It was the first time that a Russian bank tapped the international loan market with margin below 0.375% per year.

The facility is structured as a term loan, with a tenor of three years and a quarterly amortisation schedule starting on the date falling 27 months after the utilisation date. The proceeds of the facility will be used for general corporate finance including the refinancing of the existing US$500mn syndicated facility signed in July 2005 as well as providing core clients of the borrower with trade-related finance.