Deutsche Bank has signed a Nippon Export & Insurance (Nexi)-supported €250mn 13-year term loan facility with Hrvatske Autoceste (HAC) for the Zagreb-Split Motorway Project in Croatia. The facility was lead arranged by Deutsche Bank, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi and Mizuho Corporate Bank.

Nexi of Japan provided the risk insurance cover under its overseas untied loan insurance (OULI) scheme. The facility also carries a guarantee from the government of Croatia.

This is the first such facility to be signed under the OULI scheme approved by Nexi in Croatia to assist the development of infrastructure in this part of the region for the economic development of the area.

This is also the first euro-denominated long-term risk insurance cover issued by Nexi.

The funds will be utilised by HAC to part-finance the construction of the 317km Zagreb-Split Motorway. The motorway will connect northeastern Croatia with the Dalmatian region and in the future, the major European road network at the Slovenia/Italy border.

This will provide easy access from northern and central Europe to the major tourist destinations in the Adriatic and Dalmatia regions and connect southeastern Europe with north Europe via Croatia. The motorway is expected to boost tourist traffic from Europe, aiding the Croatian economy as tourism contributes about 17% to the country’s GDP. The motorway will also facilitate trade and movement of goods from Europe to major commercial centres in Split, Zadar, Sibenik and Dubrovnik.

HAC, established in 2001, is a state-owned company. It is solely responsible for the development, upgrading, maintenance and operation of the motorway network in Croatia.

“This transaction represents the first initiative on part of NEXI and the financial institutions from Asia in Croatia. It required a very coordinated effort and ingenuity by all concerned in Croatia, Tokyo and Singapore to make this mutually beneficial transaction a reality. Deutsche Bank is pleased to have put this landmark transaction together,” said Pradeep Mathur, managing director and head of Deutsche Bank’s structured trade and export finance unit based in Singapore.

The loan was syndicated in the Tokyo market, with the three lead arrangers and six other banks, including ABN Amro, BNP Paribas, Credit Lyonnais, Depfa Bank, ING, and UFJ Bank, forming the syndicate.