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CORPORATE BRIEFS

EBRD and Credit Lyonnais to provide $126 million loan to Slovalco

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Credit Lyonnais announced on November 27 that preparations for the provision of a syndicated loan of $126 million to aluminum smelter Slovalco, based in Žiar nad Hronom, have concluded.

The EBRD arranged the loan, payable in 2003, while Credit Lyonnais co-financed it. The credit has as senior managers Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, NM Rothschild & Sons Limited, Societe Generale and Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG.

"The most significant international banks are participating in the loan, which is a reflection of Slovakco's market orientation towards foreign trade as well as on the strength of the company's management," EBRD deputy president for financing Norren Doyle said. "Despite turbulence on the markets of transforming countries, strong projects in eastern and central Europe still have a chance of success. The successful arrangement of the loan reflects the intentions of foreign investors to continue supporting long-term investment projects in CEE countries, especially in collaboration with financial institutions like the EBRD," Doyle added.

The EBRD has a 10% stake in Slovalco. A Credit Lyonnais official said the conditions of the loan were more favourable than those for Slovak government paper, but would not disclose specific figures.

Slovalco had a 3Q98 gross profit of 450 million Sk ($12.5 million) on output of over 6.03 billion Sk ($168 million) and gross sales of 5.91 billion Sk.

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