APRIL 10 2013 11:48h

Foreign debt at end of 2012 totals EUR 44.9 bln

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Economy
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Croatia's external debt totalled EUR 44.9 billion at the end of 2012, namely 101.8 per cent of Gross Domestic Produc, the same as at the end of 2011, according to the latest figures released by the Croatian National Bank on Wednesday.

Last year, Croatia's external debt was reduced by approximately EUR 800 million, from EUR 45.7 billion at the end of 2011 to 44.9 million at the end of 2012.

The refinancing rate in the entire year amounted to 94 per cent, with the lowest rate being recorded in the banking sector where new loans covered 62 per cent of the debt, according to the central bank analysts.

The foreign debt on the annual level went down also because the financial sector, namely banks, reduced its debt in 2012 by EUR 2.2 billion or 19.3 per cent.

Commercial banks reduced their borrowing abroad from EUR 11.6 billion at the end of 2011 to EUR 9.4 billion at the end of 2012.

The banking sector's share in the overall external debt was reduced by 4.5 percentage points from 25.4 percent in late 2011 to 20.9 percent in late 2012.

The central government's external debt took the opposite direction and it increased by 19.2 per cent. In late 2012, the central government debt totaled EUR 8.3 billion, up by 1.3 billion from late 2011. Its share in the overall external debt increased from 15.3 per cent in late 2011 to 18.6 per cent in late 2012.

The state last year issues a US$ 1.5 billion bond on the international market, the analysts say adding that assuming responsibilities of shipyards also affected the foreign debt growth.

The foreign liabilities of other domestic sectors, mainly companies and financial institutions other than banks, were EUR 19.7 billion, down EUR 438.8 million or 2.2 per cent on the year. (Hina)