MOSCOW, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Russia's state-owned shipping company Sovcomflot has signed a loan agreement for $700 million as it carries out a major capital investment programme, the company said on Monday.
Sovcomflot, which has been planning an IPO, has signed the agreement for a seven-year loan with a consortium of banks, including Citibank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BNP Paribas SA.
The company said the loan will be used to re-finance existing obligations and pay for new vessels.
Sovcomflot, which is one the world's largest shipping companies with a fleet of 156 ships, is currently undertaking an a development programme that will see it receive 15 new ships between 2012 and 2015. (Reporting by Reuters trainee Sonia Elks; Editing by Megan Davies and David Cowell)