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BUSINESS BYTES

Slovenské Elektrárne corrals $150 million syndicate loan

Slovenské Elektrárne (Slovak Power Plants - SE) and representatives of J.P. Morgan and 28 other banks (including Nomura, Bank of America, Bankers Trust, Citibank, Credit Lyonnais, Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, The Fuji Bank, NatWest, Societé Generale and The Sumimoto Bank) signed an agreement for a $150 million syndicate loan. The loan has a 3-year maturity with a possible 2-year prolongation. Its interest rate is LIBOR plus 0.875 percent and is not government-backed. In order to get the loan, SE had to pledge not to increase its loan burden above 55 percent of its total assets and not to decrease its current equity capital of 43 billion Sk to below 30 billion Sk. SE will use the funds to finance investments into environmental projects in the Vojany and Nováky power plants and its heat plant in Košice. It will also be used to improve SE's telecommunications service.

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