EIB starts channeling EUR 100 million to Greek SMEs via EUROBANK under the Guarantee Fund for Greek SMEs
The European Investment Bank (EIB) signed today with EUROBANK a EUR 100 million line of credit for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in the fields of industry, tourism, and services in Greece. This is the first line of credit under the Guarantee Fund for Greek SMEs purposefully established to cater for financing needs of SMEs in Greece.
The Fund is a joint initiative between the Hellenic Republic, the European Commission and the EIB. Established by using EUR 500 million from unabsorbed Structural Funds for Greece, the Fund will be guaranteeing EIB loans to SMEs via partner banks in Greece totaling up to EUR 1 billion.
On this occasion, EIB Vice-President responsible for Greece Dario Scannapieco stated today: “Today’s signature is a milestone in our support to the Greek real economy, as it is the first funding under the SME Guarantee Fund purposefully developed by the EIB to cater for the needs of the Greek economy, and tailor-made for enhancing the synergies between loan programmes and EU funds, in line with the European Council decisions. I am pleased to announce that the first EUR 100 million for Greek SMEs start flowing in partnership with Eurobank. We continue to blend our financial means and expertise as the largest multilateral financing institution with the expertise of our local banking partners for the benefit of the entrepreneurship in Greece. In this respect, the operation with Eurobank will provide additional liquidity to the banking sector for SME support and will reduce the cost of financing for the partner banks, as well as the SMEs. This is just three months after the signature of the Agreement with the Hellenic Republic in September 2012, which facilitates our funding in Greece. Speaking with deeds and not words, we will keep our product mix and expertise available and ready to use for the benefit of Greece in the coming years.”
The Guarantee Fund for Greek SMEs was established in March of this year, as a joint initiative between the Hellenic Republic, the European Commission and the EIB. The Fund that uses EUR 500 million from unabsorbed Structural Funds for Greece, will be guaranteeing EIB loans to SMEs via partner banks in Greece totaling up to EUR 1 billion. SME financing is key in re-launching growth, securing and creating jobs, as well as strengthening the competitiveness of the Greek economy. Moreover, this new and innovative instrument through its multiplier effect improves the effective use of the EU grant funds allocated to the country. It will provide support to the banking sector in order to reduce the cost of financing for SMEs.