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EIB signs $152 million infrastructure deals with Bosnia

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Bosnia signed loan agreements worth 140 million euros ($152 million) on Thursday with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's lending arm, to help build sections of a strategic north-south highway running through the country.

The loans would be used to build a 6.9-km (4.2 miles) stretch of the road in southern Bosnia, including a key tunnel and two viaducts, as well as for a 5.5-km section in central Bosnia that includes the construction of a 3.6-km two-tube tunnel, said Finance Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda.

The construction should be completed by 2022 and 2023 respectively, Bevanda said. The funds would be repaid over 25 years, including a six-year grace period.

The pan-European VC corridor, linking Hungarian capital Budapest in the north with the Croatian port of Ploce in the south, is the main international transport link through Bosnia. It is expected to be completed by 2030 and its total cost is estimated at about 4 billion euros.



(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Alex Richardson)