MILAN, July 26 Italian tollroad operator
Atlantia has secured a 500 million euro ($606.18
million) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support
its investment plans at a time of strained financial conditions
in the recession-hit country.
In a statement, Atlantia said a first tranche of 250 million
euros approved on Thursday will be used to upgrade a motorway
section in the Tuscany region.
The loan will mature in March 2034 with repayments starting
from 2017, Atlantia said.
Atlantia is under pressure to finance operations and
investments at a moment when Italy's credit rating has been hit
by a series of downgrades because of sovereign debt concerns.
Moody's cut Atlantia's credit rating to Baa1 from A3
following its downgrading of Italy's sovereign debt rating
earlier this month.
The tollroad operator said the downgrade would not hurt its
financing capacity despite ongoing negative traffic volumes in
the near term.
($1 = 0.8248 euros)
(Reporting by Antonella Ciancio; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)