HSBC Said to Join Lloyds Exiting $2 Billion BP, Rosneft LoanStephen Morris
HSBC Holdings Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc pulled out of a loan for BP Plc and Moscow-based OAO Rosneft as the uprising in Ukraine shows no signs of abating, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
The banks withdrew from the deal for as much as $2 billion after the U.S. and European Union imposed sanctions on Russia, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak about it. London-based HSBC and Lloyds were hired alongside Bank of China Ltd. and Deutsche Bank AG to arrange the deal for a joint venture between BP and Russia’s largest oil producer last year.
Lending to Russia has fallen since the crisis began as international banks weigh the political and financial risks of maintaining relationships with clients in the country. Bank of America Corp. joined two loans to Russian companies using methods that avoided publicity, people with knowledge of the loans said last month.
HSBC spokeswoman Rachel Snow, Lloyds spokeswoman Suvra Datta and BP spokesman Toby Odone declined to comment on the banks’ withdrawals. A Rosneft official, who asked not to be named citing company policy, also wouldn’t comment.
Igor Sechin, chief executive officer of Rosneft, was targeted by U.S. sanctions in April because of the 53-year-old’s long-standing relationship with President Vladimir Putin. BP and Rosneft, which wasn’t itself sanctioned, abandoned plans to seek a lower interest rate on the loan and cut its size from a targeted $5 billion in April.
BP, Europe’s third-largest oil company, holds about a 20 percent stake in Rosneft. The two firms set up a specially created company to raise the debt, which will be used to finance BP’s purchase of oil products from Rosneft.