PARIS, April 1 French farming group
AgroGeneration said on Tuesday it would delay by a
few days the payment of bond interest due on April 1 because of
financing problems linked to the geopolitical tensions in
Ukraine, where it grows most of its crops.
Its shares were suspended on Monday morning and are due to
resume trading on Wednesday.
Growing tensions in East-West relations over Russia's moves
to annex the Black Sea Crimea peninsula have weakened Ukraine's
hryvnia currency and its already fragile economy, leading its
banks to cut back on lending.
"The Ukrainian political instability significantly limited
sources of corporate financing and disrupted some transfers of
funds between international banks," the company, which grows
120,000 hectares of land in the country, said in a statement.
AgroGeneration, which has a market capitalisation of 103
million euros ($142 million), said it had concentrated its cash
on financing operations of its Ukrainian farms pending the
release of the bank loans granted at the beginning of year.
But part of the funding granted for 2014 initially expected
in early March, was only released on Monday, it said.
"Accordingly, the Group will proceed to the payment of
accrued interest on listed bonds with a few days offset from the
original date of April 1, 2014," AgroGeneration said. It
declined to give more details on the delay.
It stressed however, that the crisis in Ukraine has not had
a significant impact on its agricultural activities so far.
In its last results available, for the first half of 2013,
AgroGeneration said it had 19.6 million euros ($27 million) in
outstanding bonds by June 30, 2013.
($1 = 0.7249 Euros)
(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Andrew Callus)