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European Investment Bank to provide a USD 8 million line of credit to support SMEs and renewable energy in Saint Kitts and Nevis

  •  Release date: 17 December 2010
  •  Reference: 2010-238-EN

Earlier today the European Investment Bank agreed to provide a USD 8 million line of credit to the Development Bank of Saint Kitts and Nevis to ensure continued availability of public and private sector finance during the financial crisis. The European Investment Bank’s line of credit will promote growth, employment, competitiveness and economic diversification on the Saint Kitts and Nevis.

The package supports small and medium sized enterprises as part of the European Investment Bank’s priority focus on private sector development. Projects in the manufacturing, industrial, agricultural, infrastructure, energy, health, education and tourism sectors will benefit from easier access to finance.

Renewable energy and energy efficiency projects will benefit from a dedicated USD 1 million component and will further benefit from an interest rate subsidy to facilitate investment in these sectors.

“The European Investment Bank recognises the importance of working closely with commercial and development banks from around the Caribbean so that they can continue lending to SMEs during difficult financial conditions.  We have worked closely with Saint Kitts and Nevis’ Development Bank for almost 30 years and look forward to seeing the support that this programme offers to SMEs and Renewable Energy projects across the Federation.  The dedicated assistance for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects recognises the specific challenges faced by small island states in their fight against climate change.” said Plutarchos Sakellaris, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for the Caribbean.

The Chairman of the Development Bank of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Mr. Elvis J. Newton, in applauding the EIB’s timely financial intervention, said that “This line of credit is extremely important to both the DBSKN and the Government of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis at this time of challenges resulting from the global financial crisis and will greatly support the Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis’ efforts towards job creation, foreign exchange earnings and growth and expansion of the local economy by making available financing on affordable terms to viable projects in the sectors which have been targeted”.

The European Investment Bank operates in the Caribbean under the Cotonou Agreement. This line of credit is the fourth EIB project to materialise under the Caribbean Joint Action Plan that the European Investment Bank signed with the Caribbean Development Bank, Finance for Development (“FMO”), the International Finance Corporation and PROPARCO on May 19, 2010 in the Bahamas, bringing EIB’s total contribution to the Caribbean region since May 2010 to USD 65 m.

Notes for Editors:

European Investment Bank

  • The European Investment Bank is the European Union’s long-term financing institution. In the Caribbean, the European Investment Bank lends to 27 countries and territories with the support of its Martinique Regional Office.
  • While the majority of its lending is focused on the EU, the Bank also helps to implement the EU’s cooperation and development policies outside the EU, acting under specific mandates.
  • Since the start of operations in the Caribbean, the European Investment Bank has supported economic activity in the region with loans and equity investment worth over EUR 1.3 billion (USD 1.7 bn).
  • The European Investment Bank has, over the last 30 years, financed projects in Saint Kitts and Nevis for EUR 8.5 m (USD 11.2 m), mainly in support of SMEs through lines of credit to DBSKN.  The current line of credit doubles EIB’s lending to DBSKN.

DBSKN

  • The Development Bank of St.Kitts and Nevis (DBSKN) was established by an Act of Parliament NO.1 of 1981. The Act was further amended in April of 1983 by Parliament.
  • The Bank is wholly owned by the Government of St.Kitts and Nevis, but it is fully autonomous and operates independently with a Board of Directors, General Manager, and a team of staff members.
  • The Development Bank of St.Kitts was establish to, among other things;

a)     provide financial assistance by way of loans, the purchase of debentures, the participation in any share issue or by guaranteeing loans from other investment sources to persons wishing to establish, extend or modernise any development enterprises;

(b)     borrow money, accept grants of financial assistance, make investments and generally procure funds for the purpose of its functions;

(c)     assist in the creation, expansion and modernisation of any development enterprise;

(d)     encourage and promote the use and participation of capital, both local and overseas, in any development enterprise;

  • The Bank currently provides development financing and support to small and medium enterprises to foster economic development in various sectors of the economy including: Tourism Related Ventures, Agro-industry, Manufacturing sectors, Agriculture, Education and Housing.
  • The Development Bank of St.Kitts and Nevis has a loan portfolio of XCD 228 Million (USD 85.4 m).

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http://www.eib.org/projects/press/2010/2010-238-european-investment-bank-to-provide-a-usd-8-million-line-of-credit-to-support-smes-and-renewable-energy-in-saint-kitts-and-nevis.htm