Vneshekonombank Discusses Unpaid Loan Granted To ORT TV With Government

Vneshekonombank (VEB) is currently holding consultations with the Russian government on resolving the problem of the unpaid $100 million loan granted to the ORT television by this bank. A source in VEB told this information to reporters today. According to the source, VEB has prepared a proposal to transform this loan into a long-term guaranteed loan. The possibility of refinancing this loan, or at least the interest for it, from the federal budget. Nevertheless, this option depends on the situation with additional revenues to the 2002 budget. At the same time, he did not rule out the possibility that the bank would be unable to recover this loan. In such an event, "the shares in ORT should be redistributed in our favor," the source pointed out. He indicated that the bank might also use bankruptcy proceedings. This will not allow for recovering the loan but can become 'a ground' for possible negotiations and transfer of the TV channel to new owners. The source added that the annual interest rate for the loan is 13%. The borrower has refused to repay it twice. The new date of repayment of the loan is January 27, 2002.

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