JULY 26 2012 18:27h
The government on Thursday issued state guarantees to the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR), the Uljanik Plovidba shipping company and the Pula-based Uljanik dock.
The guarantee to HBOR is for a EUR50 million loan from the World Bank for the HBOR loan programme aimed at financing exports. The government's guarantee to Uljanik Plovidba is earmarked for the financing of the delivery of the Istra tanker and the one for Uljanik was issued so that the shipyard is able to close a loan in Deutsche Bank.
First Deputy Prime Minister Radimir Cacic informed government members of good results from the first phase of Uljanik privatisation through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Cacic said the interest in purchasing the dock's stock "is 50 percent higher than expected".
For the first phase to be successfully completed it was necessary for the workers to purchase at least 39.04 percent of the Uljanik stock, but given the high interest, the government has secured additional 45 percent of the stock.
Uljanik will take a HRK92 million loan from the HBOR, 80 percent of which (73.6 million) covered by the state guarantee will be used to close a loan which Deutsche Bank granted to the shipyard in 2010. The EUR45 million loan, granted to a period of five years with a two-year grace period is also covered by the state guarantee.
The government issued a US$27.6 million guarantee to the Privredna banka Zagreb for a US$ 34.5 million loan to Uljanik Plovidba, namely United Shipping Services Seventeen, for the financing of the delivery of the Istra tanker built in the 3.maj dock in Rijeka.
With the state guarantee the HBOR will receive a World Bank loan amounting to EUR50 million earmarked for export financing. The loan is to be paid back in 28.5 years, including a seven-year grace period with a 6-month Euribor interest rate, increased by the fixed interest rate.
Stressing that Croatia had expected a bigger amount, Finance Minister Slavko Linic said talks with the World Bank have been launched so that HBOR could issue its bonds with the World Bank's guarantee.
Given that the World Bank's rating is AAA, the Croatian finance minister expects the HBOR to be able to issue bonds under favourable condition.
The government also adopted a decision regulating the register of investments which, according to Cacic would for the first time after 22 years give a clear picture of where the investments were being made. (Hina)