Czech EGAP needs to restructure €360mn of loans to Russian firms

By bne IntelliNews November 24, 2014

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The state-owned Czech Export Guarantee and Insurance Corporation (EGAP) will have to restructure about CZK10bn (€360mn) worth of loans to Russian firms, Lidove noviny daily reported, citing EGAP spokeswoman Hana Hikelova. Most of the loans are denominated in euros and the Russian companies are now facing problems repaying their debts due to the depreciation of the ruble.

The ruble has dropped in value against the euro by some 20% and by 30% against the US dollar since the start of the year. Russian companies mostly use loans, insured by EGAP, to finance supplies from Czech exporters.

Russia is the most important market for EGAP; the agency’s exposure to that country stands at CZK56bn, or a quarter of EGAP's portfolio. Azerbaijan and Turkey follow with much lower volumes.

In September, EGAP estimated that Czech exports to Russia might fall by some CZK19bn in the next 12 months due to the sanctions between Russia and the EU over the Ukraine crisis. The direct impact of the sanctions concern in particular dual-use goods that are usually used for civilian purposes but which may have military applications. By September, the Czech government had issued permits for the exports of such goods worth CZK1.7bn.

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