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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

May foreign debt at $8.48bn

Slovakia's total foreign debt reached $8.48 billion as of May 31, 1997. The debt of the government and the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) was $1.60 billion, while the rest belonged to the commercial sector.

Foreign debt in convertible currencies reached $8.35 billion, while the other $133 million is the estimated debt owed to the former East Germany.

The increase in Slovakia's total foreign debt from $7.81 billion at the end of 1996 to $8.48 billion at the end of May was caused mostly by a $531 million increase in the short-term debt of commercial banks. Short-term debt made up 41.5 percent of the total.

The gross debt servicing of Slovakia, including installments paid to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), reached $118.2 million in the first half of 1997, of which $78.7 million were principal payments and $39.5 million were interest payments. The foreign revenues of the government (mainly from collection of receivables) were $9.2 million, which puts a net debt servicing for the first six months of this year at $109 million.

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