EFSAL loan to arrive in Slovakia in early 2001
The first installment of the World Bank's EFSAL loan for bank and corporate sector restructuring should arrive in Slovakia in the first quarter of 2001 the bank's head economist for Europe and Central Asia, Marcelo Selowski, said September 29. Although the exact sum of the loan has not yet been specified, it is expected to be around $300 million, $100 million less than had been originally proposed.
A meeting between WB representatives and Finance Minister Brigita Schmögnerová also produced agreement on joint participation of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Financial Corporation (IFC) in the privatisation of Všeobecná úverová banka (VUB). According to the minister, initial interest in taking 10% stakes each has been expressed.
OECD invitation to Slovak entry signed in Paris
Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Donald J. Johnston and Slovak Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan signed on September 28 an agreement on the invitation to Slovakia to join the organisation.
"Today's admission of Slovakia into the OECD is a milestone in history and it is a conclusion of the enlargement of this organisation to include countries from central Europe, i.e. Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and today also Slovakia. All these countries are also candidates for EU entry. Their admission into the OECD should help in their joining the EU," Johnston said.
Slovak Deputy Prime Minister for Economy Ivan Mikloš said after the signing that he believed the country's investment ratings would now be improved to 'investment grade' following the country's entry into the organisation.
Before becoming effective, the agreement must be ratified by parliament, a move expected in November.
August trade deficit highest this year
The foreign trade deficit in August stood at 4.5 billion crowns, the highest this year, with exports at 41 billion crowns and imports at 45.5 billion crowns.
Compared with August 1999, exports grew 17.1% and imports 25.9%. July's trade deficit was 1.13 billion crowns. Year-on-year exports over the first eight months of the year grew 29.6% to 346 billion crowns with imports climbing 21.8% compared to the same period last year, at 361.7 billion crowns.
Over the January-August period the foreign trade deficit was 15.7 billion crowns, 47.5% less than in the same period of 1999.
Globtel's IPO put off as global market stalls
The initial public offering of mobile telephone network operator Globtel has been postponed on the advice of the joint global coordinators of the transaction, CSFB and Lehman Brothers, to wait until conditions improve on global telecommunication markets.
Head of the steering committee for the IPO Marius Hričovský said September 28 that the decision would not effect the conclusion of the IPO this year. He added that all preparatory work for the offering had been completed.
On September 12 the steering committe agreed to an earlier IPO proposal that would see Globtel stock on the Bratislava Stock Exchange (BCPB) and the London Stock Exchange.
Compiled by Ed Holt