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A credit success story

Hrvoje Radovanic, assistant finance minister and head of funding for the Republic of Croatia, talks to Guy Norton about the country’s borrowing plans for this year and discusses the key drivers behind the strong performance of Croatian debt in recent years.

What is Croatia's financing target for 2003 and how close are you to achieving it?

On the international bond issuance front, the ministry of finance has already successfully raised the bulk of its roughly e750 million funding needs for this year with the launch of a e500 million seven-year issue in February.

With regard to the rest of the year we are looking to launch a ¥25 billion ($210 million) samurai bond in Japan in the third or fourth quarter which will complete our planned international bond issuance programme for 2003.

In terms of other sources of overseas financing, we expect to receive around $200 million of concessionary funding from international financial institutions this year - $100 million from the World Bank as part of a structural adjustment facility and a further $100 million from other supranational bodies such as the Council of Europe, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development.

On the domestic bond issuance front we launched a e200 million tap of our outstanding 2012 kuna-linked bond which we launched last May for e150 million and then increased by another e150 million in September. At a total issue size of e500 million the 2012 now offers investors a good level of liquidity and is the benchmark issue at the long end of the government curve.

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