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IN SHORT BUSINESS

Bank loan to help finish Slovak highway

A loan of Sk15 billion (€395 million) from a consortium of banks, designed to accelerate the completion of three stretches of highway and to improve the quality of the highway network, was announced on September 9, the TASR news wire reported.

The loan has been provided by eight Slovak banks to the Národná diaľničná spoločnosť (National Highway Company - NDS). It will cover a time period of 17 years.

NDS General Director Dušan Faktor made the announcement to journalists on September 9, after the long-term syndicated loan contract with the banks was agreed on June 6, 2005. The leader of the bank consortium is HVB Bank Slovakia and the agent is VÚB.

NDS can withdraw the money over a two-year period after the signing of the contract, and can withdraw Sk1 billion (€30 million) at one time. The loan will have to be paid back over 15 years.

The banking consortium was set up by HVB Bank Slovakia, VÚB, Slovenská sporiteľňa, ČSOB, Dexia banka, ING Bank, Tatra banka and UniBanka.

The loan should speed up the completion of the highway stretch between Ladce and Sverepec, Vrtižec and Hričovské Podhradie, and Važec-Mengusovce.

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