CORPORATE NEWS

SPP signed $270 million syndicated loan

Slovenský plynárenský priemysel (SPP), the state-run gas company, signed an agreement on a $270 million (8.9 billion Sk) syndicated loan on June 13. The loan was arranged by Citibank and ING Barings, and another 17 banks from 9 countries participate in the syndicate. The 5-year loan bears a LIBOR interest rate of +0.35 percent. The original volume of the loan, $200 milllion, was increased following high interest by foreign banks. The banks didn't ask for any special guarantees from the SPP or the third parties. One of the conditions, however, was that the SPP remains 100 percent state-owned. The loan will be used to finance SPP operations as well as the completion of the fifth gas pipeline, which will increase the international transit of gas through Slovakia from the current 80 billion to 90 billion m3 of gas by 2000. The SPP made an after-tax profit of 8.6 billion Sk in 1996.

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