Croatia's caretaker government on Wednesday approved state collateral for the Petrokemija artificial fertiliser company so that it can take a 200 million kuna loan from the Croatian Reconstruction and Development Bank (HBOR), to be used for restructuring and consolidation, and gave its consent to the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund to overdraw its transaction account at the Croatian Postal Bank in the amount of HRK 100 million to maintain current liquidity.

The HBOR loan to Petrokemija is in Croatia's economic interest because 79.85% of the company's shares are held by the state and the company is the main producer of artificial fertilisers in Croatia and an important competitor on the regional market, said Finance Minister Zdravko Maric.

He said the loan would be used to refinance the company's existing liabilities and create conditions for a better negotiating position in relation to suppliers of natural gas as well as for the financial consolidation of the Kutina-based company.

The state collateral will make it possible for the company to obtain the loan at an interest rate that will enable more competitive production and sales and loan repayment, Maric said, adding that Petrokemija last borrowed at an interest rate of 8-8.5%, while the loan to be taken now would have an interest rate half that rate.

The overdraft for the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund was approved for a period of one year.

In the first half of this year, the Fund earned HRK 552 million, while its expenditure totalled HRK 896 million. When surplus revenue in the amount of HRK 248 million from 2015 is added to this amount, the Fund is left with a loss of HRK 96 million, said Environmental Protection Minister Slaven Dobrovic.

Some media reported lately that the Fund owes between HRK 50,000 and more than a million to contractors who have joined in projects for the energy upgrading of family houses, which has put it into a difficult financial situation. The Fund had reportedly paid for the services done within 30 days from their completion until spring this year, and by summer there was no more money available.

The government today also approved loans for five municipalities and the town of Velika Gorica.

Related stories

Approved EUR 27M loan to Petrokemija

Croatian PM announces state collateral for Petrokemija

Petrokemija posts HRK 87.3m loss in 2016

Petrokemija increases revenues, reduces loss

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.