Russian oil and gas firm Rosneft has approached relationship banks to arrange a US$600mn five-year loan. If successful, the facility would be the biggest for a Russian oil and gas company since 1998. Banks expected to particpate are: ABN Amro, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, ING, SG and RZB. The margin, according to one insider, is expected to be around 370bp over Libor.

Rosneft last borrowed in April 2002 through lead arranger ABN Amro. This was a US$150mn three-year term loan.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has just revised its outlook on Rosneft to negative from positive, following public discussions of a possible acquisition of OAO Severnaya Neft and the resulting technical violation of its eurobond financial covenants. At the same timeit affirmed its ‘B’ long-term corporate credit and senior unsecured ratings on the firm.