Alpha Bank makes offer to Albanian gov’t

Alpha Bank was one of seven foreign lenders to offer a 300-million-euro syndicated loan to Albania to fund its budget deficit. Last autumn, Albania planned to issue its debut 300-million Eurobond, but canceled its plans because the market was offering insufficient funds at high interest rates, Albania’s Finance Minister Ridvan Bode told Reuters yesterday. ‘Seven international banks have expressed interest and we shall consult with each of them [today] on the technical details,’ Bode said. ‘We’ll ask for 300 million euros for two or three years because that is how much the banks offer amid the crisis in the financial system,’ Bode added. To finance its 2008 deficit, Albania borrowed 230 million euros in a syndicated loan from Alpha Bank and National Bank of Greece.