Road sector companies ink loan contracts with eight banks

ZAGREB, 05.04.2018.

The Hrvatske Ceste, Hrvatske Autoceste and Autocesta Rijeka-Zagreb road management companies signed loan contracts with eight banks on Thursday and that is the final step in the second round of the financial restructuring of the road sector, the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure said on Friday.

The loan contracts were signed with Zagrebacka Banka, Privredna Banka Zagreb, Erste, Splitska Banka, Croatian Postal Bank, Croatia Banka, OTP Banka and Istarska Kreditna Banka.

The ministry explained that this represents the final step in the second phase of the financial restructuring of the road sector and that is a "jumbo" loan which reschedules the sector's debts and which, together with previously arranged terms on the international market, will enable savings of more than 50 million euros.

The loan is valued at 1.8 billion euros and was approved by the government at a cabinet session on March 29.

The loan will be divided between Hrvatske Autoceste (1.14 bn euros), Hrvatske Ceste (467M euros) and Autocesta Rijeka-Zagreb (202M euros).

Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butkovic expressed his satisfaction with this step in the financial restructuring of the road companies. He recalled that in addition to the financial restructuring, it was essential to restructure business operations too.

"Measures related to sector policies will continue this year too, with a continuing reduction of the costs of maintenance and business operations. These steps are essential for the further implementation of the restructuring process in the road sector and are part of the National Reform Programme," Butkovic said.

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric especially thanked the World Bank as a partner in this project for offering a guarantee of US$ 350 million. He also thanked the domestic financial industry, business consultants and all those who have worked on realising this project.

"This project confirms the support that the Croatian financial sector is giving to the revival of the Croatian economy and the development of the road infrastructure and is an example of open communication that the Finance Ministry has with domestic banks," Maric said.