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EuroTel takes large loan

Slovak mobile and data network operator EuroTel has taken a seven-year syndicated loan of 139.6 million euros, a company spokesman said on February 8.

The loan, carrying an interest rate of LIBOR plus 1.75 percentage points, was arranged by ABN-AMRO Bank, Bank of America, Citibank and Tatra Banka, EuroTel spokesman Norbert

Prihoda said. The financing will include a tranche from the World Bank's International Financial Corporation.

The first payment on the loan will be due on December 31, 2001, Prihoda added.

Eurotel took an 18-month, $100 million syndicated loan arranged by Bank of America and Citibank at 25 basis points over LIBOR in March 1997.

EuroTel operates a GSM digital network, an analog NMT network and a data network. The two mobile networks have some 265,000 users. The company says its turnover in 1998 was 4.2

billion crowns ($121.4 million), but detailed 1998 financial results have not been revealed.

EuroTel is 60% owned by Slovak monopoly telecom operator Slovenské Telekomunikácie and 40% is held by US West Media Group Inc. and Bell Atlantic Corporation.

The Slovak government recently announced a tender for a GSM 1800 licence, but EuroTel and the other current operator, Globtel, are not eligible to apply.

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