Financing Methods

After determining the eight concessionaires’ financing requirements, the operators and CNA draw up a borrowing programme. The main priority is to determine a maturity schedule that allows for each company’s future reimbursement capability. The borrowing programme consists largely of bond issues. CNA’s long track record, its status, and the volume and continuity of its issuance programmes make it an established player in the euro primary bond market. Its paper-issued without French government guarantee since 1991-is rated AAA by Fitch Ratings and AA+ by Standard & Poor’s. Most bond issues are designed to finance several operators concurrently CNA and the European Investment Bank (EIB) were linked by long-term financing agreements until 2005 for (1) the construction of motorways of use to the European Union as a whole and (2) programmes to improve motorway sections in service. Depending on the progress of the works covered by these agreements, CNA draws on the funds made available by the EIB in the form of loan contracts. The duration, interest rate, and currency of each loan are set on a case-by-case basis. CNA is also entitled to borrow from Caisse des Dépôts (CDC) under a programme defining new uses for national saving funds. In 2004, a €3.5-billion facility was allocated from the programme to finance transport infrastructure. To match the long-term nature of motorway investments, CNA aims to raise funds at maturities exceeding ten years and in euros in order to avoid exchange-rate risk.