July 26, 2012 / 11:31 AM / in 5 years

Italy's Atlantia gets 500 mln euro EIB loan

MILAN, July 26 (Reuters) - 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)

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