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Ukraine's Naftogaz has over $4 billion in debts - paper


KIEV, March 16 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's national energy company Naftogaz has over $4 billion in debts, with two-thirds of this sum due to be repaid by the end of 2009, a Ukrainian business paper reported on Monday.

The Russian-language newspaper Delo, which is published in Ukraine, said that Ukraine's largest state company has to repay loans of over 25 billion hryvna ($3 billion) in 2009, with another 4 billion hryvna (about $500 million) due in interest payments.

"The company's total borrowings exceeded 34.5 billion hryvna ($4.3 billion) as of the start of the year. Moreover, some of the company's loans were extended against gas in underground gas storage facilities," Delo reported.

Overall, Naftogaz owes 12 financial institutions, including seven foreign banks. Loans in foreign currency, which has appreciated considerably against the hryvna in the past six months, exceed 40% of the company's debts, Delo said.

Naftogaz earlier fully settled its $360 million debt to Russian energy giant Gazprom for natural gas supplied in February.

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