PODGORICA (Montenegro), July 21 (SeeNews) – Montenegro has repaid the first tranche of the loan granted by Chinese bank Exim for the construction of the Bar-Boljare highway, Montenegrin media reported on Wednesday.
“Montenegro paid € 27.79 million in principal and interest, and the banks in its hedging agreement paid the state € 37.44 million in principal and interest, which we redirected to the bank Chinese, “state broadcaster RTCG said quoting Finance Minister Milojko Spajic.
Earlier this month, Montenegro signed an agreement to cover around 1 billion euros ($ 1.2 billion) in debt to China’s Exim bank for the construction of the Bar-Boljare highway. With the hedging operation, Montenegro managed to lower the loan interest rate to 0.88% in euros from 2% in US dollars and will be able to save around 8 million euros per year, Spajic told the ‘era.
“If the hedge had not been made, these 27.79 million euros would have amounted to 31.71 million euros. Moreover, the interest alone would have amounted to 6.9 million euros. , not the 3.06 million euros we paid, “RTCG said Wednesday quoting Spajic.
The country’s Economic Development Minister Jakov Milatovic said in April that Montenegro was in talks with the European Union for a possible refinancing of the loan, taken out in 2014 with a grace period of six years and a maturity of 14 years. .
Montenegro’s economy contracted by 15% in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism, the Adriatic country’s main source of income.
($ = 0.84925 euro)