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Exclusive: Sanctions-hit Vekselberg repays 1 billion Swiss francs credits to Western banks - sources

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ZURICH (Reuters) – Sanctions-hit Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg has repaid loans amounting to over one billion Swiss francs ($1 billion) to banks including Credit Suisse <CSGN.S> and UBSG.S>, two sources told Reuters on Saturday.

Vekselberg was placed under sanctions in a crackdown by the United States on President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle as retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. The banks had until June 5 to resolve the issue, when U.S. sanctions come into effect.

“The credit issue with the banks is finally resolved,” a source close to the matter said, adding certain finer details remained under discussion. “The banks have received the money.”

There had been worries over the possibility the loans, which were taken out using large stakes in Swiss industrial groups Schmolz + Bickenbach <STLN>S>, OC Oerlikon <OERL.S> and Sulzer <SUN.S> as collateral, could lead to a broad selloff of the shares if a solution wasn’t found by June 5.

(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Polina Ivanova, Editing by William Maclean)

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