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The Associated Press April 23, 2012, 08:11AM ET

EU bank offers non-euro payment to Greek firms

The taxpayer-funded European Investment Bank has started including a new legal clause in its contracts with Greek companies that allows them to repay loans in a currency other than the euro.

A spokeswoman for the bank denies that the move indicates that it is preparing for an eventual Greek exit from the euro.

Helen Kavvadia said the clause, used for the first time in a (EURO)70 million ($92 million) loan agreement with Greece's Public Power Corporation, allows the company to repay the loan in a different currency.

But she said that including these clauses was a new standard procedure that would also be applied in other countries. She couldn't say for which other countries it would be applied.

The EIB gives low-interest loans to companies in and around the EU.

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