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02.04.2010

Bank Austria grants Austria's first soft loan to Laos

Bank Austria concluded Austria's first soft loan agreement with the Lao Ministry of Finance for nearly EUR 2 million, once again demonstrating its strength in export financing and its strong presence on the Asian market.

The purpose of this soft loan is to finance a pilot project for the installation of irrigation systems for the Lao Ministry of Agriculture by the Styrian company Röhren- und Pumpenwerk Bauer GmbH, which has been active in the field of irrigation sprinkler systems for many years.

"Despite the large volume of total annual rainfall, it is currently only possible to harvest once a year in Laos because 85 per cent of the rain falls in the months of May to October. The use of Bauer irrigation sprinkler systems will make it possible to save enormous volumes of water and increase agricultural production," explained Heimo Wiesinger, Röhren- und Pumpenwerk Bauer GmbH's manager responsible for sales and marketing. He also emphasised his company's pioneering role: "The goal is to increase the quantity and quality of agricultural production using our modern irrigation sprinkler systems and in this way to help combat poverty among the country's population."

Soft loans
Soft loans are aid loans for projects in selected countries that would not be economically feasible with financing at market conditions. They are characterised by very low interest rates and long maturities with repayment-free periods as well as full hedging and support services from the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF).
However, since Laos is not included in the official list of countries eligible for soft loans, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG reserves the right on behalf of the BMF to decide in each individual case whether and at what terms soft financing is possible in Laos.

Enquiries: Bank Austria Media Relations
Tiemon Kiesenhofer, tel. +43 (0) 50505 - 52819
E-mail: tiemon.kiesenhofer@unicreditgroup.at

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