The Slovak state-owned energy utility Stredoslovenské Energetické Závody š.p. (SEZ) signed a $20 million syndicated loan arranged by Tatra Banka, the bank announced on February 23. "This loan is the first syndicated credit for [the SEZ] and represents a significant step forward in the process of integration between the Slovak and European enegy sectors," Tatra banka said. The loan has a five year maturity and has an interest rate of LIBOR+1.1 percent. Raiffeissen Zentralbank Österreich AG and Société Générale Prague are co-arrangers. The SEZ, operating in Central Slovakia, is the biggest of the country's three regional energy distributors. Its annual turnover exceeds 10 billion crowns.