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New EXIM Bank management initiates detailed investigation

The new management of export credit insurer EXIM Bank will initiate a detailed audit at the bank, conducted by foreign auditing firms. In the words of new EXIM Bank Governor Ľudomír Slahor, "our goal is to bring transparency to state guarantees for bank obligations and to strictly define the powers of individual bodies within [EXIM Bank], the relationship between them and their duties towards other institutions," stated Slahor.

According to new EXIM Bank Vice-Governor Michal Borgula, the audit should allow a 70 million Sk ($2 million) drop in costs in 1999. As of November 30, operational costs for 1998 amounted to 244 million Sk ($6.8 million), while total EXIM Bank assets were 5.3 billion Sk ($147 million). Net profit was 370 million Sk compared to the 85 million Sk that had been projected.

The bank's role is to insure Slovak exporters against the risk of non-payment by clients in high-risk countries, as well as to finance import and export-oriented projects. At the end of November, there was 122 million Sk in EXIM Bank's import fund, which is financed by obligatory contributions from importers, while the export guarantee fund, created from the contributions of exporters, contained 177 million Sk. Thus far, EXIM Bank has provided 50 million Sk in loans from the import fund and 22 million Sk in guarantees from the export fund.

Borgula also revealed that former EXIM Bank executives, dismissed at a November 25 meeting, left their posts with 24-month severance pay packets. "The new management will have to review the validity of such agreements and draw certain conclusions," stated Borgula.

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