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Eurobank is “baking” for the second phase of the EMC

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Such projects can only be financed with syndicated loans from Greek and Cypriot banks

«Ψorνεται» η Eurobank για τη β΄ φαση τ ου EMC

«Ψorνε&tau ;αι» η Eurobank για τη β΄ φαση του EMC

By Panagiotis Rougalas

Eurobank, although it did not want to enter the first round of financing of the grandiose project that will create the East to Med Data Corridor (EMC) cable system, is considering entering the second round of financing the project. The second phase of the project concerns the connection of Saudi Arabia with Asia, while in the first – which will begin to be implemented in the summer – the cable will connect Europe with Saudi Arabia. It is recalled that the EMC cable system will start from Singapore, pass through Saudi Arabia, Israel, Cyprus and Greece, with a final destination in Italy and France.

As “K” revealed in a report in mid-February, the loan for the first phase of the project will also be provided by Cypriot funds, specifically by the National Bank of Greece (Cyprus). In addition to the National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, Piraeus Bank and Al Jazeera Bank will participate in the financing of the first phase of the cable system. Although it is not yet known whether the financing scheme of the second phase will have the same composition as the first, “K”, which closely follows the investment, is informed that Eurobank is in early discussions to participate in the large syndicated loan. of the big project. The participation of a bank in such a large project is not a one-day decision and sources in the know note that there is a time-consuming process that a bank needs to go through to participate in such a large project, with “training” of many months. However, the loan contracts of the first phase are expected to be “closed” by the end of April and the 4 banks will be invited to provide about 60% of the required funds, about 300 million euros.

< strong>With syndicated loans

The bigger picture is that with such projects, the “Silk Road” is being reopened. It is the opportunity for Greece and Cyprus – due to their region and strategic position – to play an important role between Europe and Asia, while the Cypriot banks seem to be entering the mentality of syndicated loans. Until now, we have seen syndicated loans in Cyprus with projects related to lending that the European Investment Bank (EIB) “backs up” and Cypriot banks participated. Perhaps it is time for the Cypriot banking sector to work together to produce bigger and more challenging projects.

Current investment

10 days ago the necessity of creating such projects surfaced, as according to an Israeli website (Globes), four underwater communication cables between Saudi Arabia and Djibouti have been sabotaged and possibly – as the publication states – the result of attacks by the Houthi rebels. The sabotage of the four cables at sea has caused communication interruption issues between Europe and Asia.

The construction of the EMC cable involves Saudi Arabia's MENA HUB, TTSA S.A. led from the Greek side by the Public Electricity Company of Greece (PPC). It is worth noting that Saudi Telecom is the main shareholder of the project, as well as of the MENA HUB.

Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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