We prevented a major crisis and ensured the survival of the company

Photo /Vijesti/2018/07 srpanj/5 srpnja/Sjednica/DSC_9907.JPG

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Thursday that creditors' strong support for the settlement at Agrokor showed strong support for the successfully organised and led process of emergency administration, adding that he expected future owners to continue the company's restructuring.

Creditors approved the settlement plan for the indebted food and retail conglomerate in a vote on Wednesday. The plan was backed by creditors holding 80.2 percent of total claims, namely those with claims amounting to HRK 27.08 billion out of a total of HRK 33.75 billion.

"The fact that 80.2 percent of creditors voted in favour of the settlement yesterday is strong support and a confirmation of the successfully organised and led process of emergency administration in one of the biggest economic crises that threatened the stability of the Croatian economy, the stability of many Croatian companies, and many jobs," Plenkovic said at the start of a cabinet meeting.

He said that the government had responded in that emergency efficiently and successfully to prevent a major crisis and ensure the survival of the company, the economic future of suppliers and the normal functioning of and payments to small farmers who otherwise would have collapsed. He added that the law on emergency administration ensured new liquidity and the restructuring and consolidation of the company.

Plenkovic noted that many stakeholders had tried to undermine the process and the government in order to destabilise the parliamentary majority. "We managed to withstand those attempts for one reason only, because we were guided solely by the general interests of the Croatian state and economy, jobs and the state budget. And we succeeded."

He said that the settlement plan was yet to be approved by the Commercial Court, after which its implementation would begin.

Plenkovic thanked the coalition partner, the Croatian People's Party (HNS), for supporting the government in this process. He also thanked all the cabinet ministers involved, former deputy prime minister Martina Dalic, emergency administrator Fabris Perusko and his deputy Irena Weber, and the former administrator Ante Ramljak.

"All in all, this process is good for the Croatian economy. It sends out a message of confidence that Croatian institutions, the Croatian state have created a good legal framework," Plenkovic said, adding that the law on emergency administration was found to be in conformity with the constitution and that it has become part of EU law.

Plenkovic said that he expected the future co-owners of Agrokor to continue the restructuring process and take account of Croatia's economic interests and workers.

Positive news about bond issue and acquisition of Jadranska Banka

Speaking of the latest government bond issue, the prime minister said that it was very positive news.

The Ministry of Finance issued a HRK 10.5 billion bond on the domestic financial market on Wednesday. The largest portion of the proceeds will be used to refinance a HRK 6 billion bond which matures on July 10.

The bond was issued in two tranches, one of HRK 5 billion with a maturity of 11 years and a yield of 2.58% and the other of HRK 5.5 billion with a maturity of five years and a yield of 1.22%. Compared with the bond it will refinance, this means a saving of HRK 200 million annually.

This shows that "our total macroecomic indicators, our serious and responsible fiscal policy and all the trends that we have, show the trust of financial institutions," Plenkovic said.

The PM also commented on the signing of an agreement on Wednesday under which the Croatian postal bank HPB acquired all 4.7 million shares in Jadranska Banka, stressing the importance of the completion of the rehabilitation of the bank which plays an important role in Sibenik-Knin County.

"This is positive news, and there will be no burden on the state budget," Plenkovic concluded.

Text: Hina