Slovakia overhauls debt management operations using Trema's solution

- ARDAL, the Slovak debt management agency, hailed a model agency by European peers, acknowledges Trema's role in revolutionizing debt management processes
- ARDAL goes from greenfield site to fully operational debt management business in ten months
- ARDAL achieves World Bank standards for debt management

London, 16 March 2005 - Trema, the leading provider of treasury and asset management software for global corporations and financial institutions, has played "an integral part" in a radical overhaul of Slovakia's public finances, according to the Head of the Slovak Debt Management Agency, ARDAL. At a recent debt management conference attended by Eastern European debt managers and central bankers, ARDAL's Director Daniel Bytcánek acknowledged Trema's key role in helping the agency improve transparency and risk management in Slovakia's debt management operations. The Slovak Republic has undertaken a major overhaul of its public finance infrastructure in recent years, including the creation of ARDAL, to expedite the country's accession to the Eurozone.

Daniel Bytcánek, Head of ARDAL, said, "For us, the benefits are evident. We now spend 80% of our time managing debt and only 20% on data collection, whereas previously the reverse was the case. We have reduced our borrowing forecast for 2005 by 75% compared with actual borrowing in 2004, further, we have also reduced the interest rate on our borrowings by 1.5%. We now see ourselves as an asset management function rather than simply debt management and the Trema solution has played an integral part in this. We are now working with other European debt management agencies to help them improve their processes."

At its creation in 2003, ARDAL was tasked with two overall goals: to improve efficiency and to reduce risk of Slovakia's debt management operations, based on World Bank recommendations. Its operational objectives were: to restructure the country's debt portfolio to reduce borrowing costs; to instigate intelligent financial risk management of debt and cash operations; to improve communication with external markets and investors; and to support the development of the Slovak financial infrastructure.

ARDAL now complies with the guidelines set by the Slovak Ministry of Finance for regulatory compliance, liquidity, risk and debt management, as well as overall operational efficiency. ARDAL has also played a key role in attracting external investors. Slovakia now has an active Eurobond programme, whereas the government previously borrowed from commercial banks at punitive rates.

Trema's solution processes over 80% of Europe's foreign reserves and the platform is used by a wide range of government institutions globally. It provides in-depth, real-time reporting, forecasting and risk management functionalities. The agency now concurs with the Ministry of Finance's objectives for the efficient execution and analysis of portfolio transactions. The Trema Suite enables ARDAL to easily gather and store its data in a single system, rather than the previously disparate in-house databases and the time-consuming paperwork involved in the manual processing of cash.

Terry Beadle, Executive Vice President and Head of the Government sector, Trema, commented, "We are pleased to have facilitated ARDAL's rapid development to become a 'model' debt agency in the eyes of the European debt management community. The Trema Suite is well suited to meet the needs of mid-tier government institutions as well as large central banks. It is encouraging to see the solution has played a key part in helping Slovakia towards its goal of joining the Eurozone."

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