Russia's Gazprombank chairman says Yamal LNG financing [including ECAs] is in final stages

(Reuters, Moscow, 29 October 2015) A deal to raise financing for the Novatek-led Yamal LNG project in Russia is in its final stages, the chairman of the management board at Gazprombank, Andrey Akimov, told Reuters. Financing for the $27 billion project is seen as a test for Russia in securing foreign loans, at a time when the country's access to capital markets is limited by Western sanctions over its involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. In a rare interview, Akimov said Chinese lenders are set to provide $12 billion, Russian banks $4 billion, and export credit agencies are expected to put up another $4 billion. Novatek has a 50.1 percent stake in what will be only Russia's second LNG plant. France's Total and China's CNPC hold 20 percent each. Last month, Novatek agreed to sell a 9.9 percent stake to the China Silk Road Fund.