The European Investment Bank provides a EUR 20 million Global Loan to Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria to finance projects of small and medium-scale enterprises and municipalities in Bulgaria.

The global loan will serve for financing of small- and medium-scale projects in the field of environmental protection, infrastructure, industry or tourism. This is already the second global loan signed with Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria.

The first EIB global loan with this bank amounting to EUR 10 million was signed in October 2002. It was allocated within 8 months only for financing sub-projects, mainly in the tourism sector.

EIB Global Loans have been developed as a successful tool in providing long-term EIB funds for financing smaller projects implemented by the SME sector or by municipalities under favourable conditions. Since 1990, the EIB has signed six global loan facilities for a total amount of EUR 120 million with five partner banks in Bulgaria.

The Global Loans represent special credit lines to selected partner banks operating in the individual countries. This financial scheme is used by the EIB to finance small and medium-size projects with a total investment higher than EUR 40 000 and less than EUR 25 million. EIB partner banks, like Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria, assess each project, assume the credit risk and set the loan conditions for the final beneficiary. Interested investors should address the intermediaries directly.

Since 1990, the EIB, as the European Union's long-term financing institution, has provided loans to Bulgaria amounting to almost EUR 1.1 billion so far for projects fostering the country's integration into the EU.

Generally, in the future Member States of Central Europe, the EIB has lent more than EUR 25 billion to projects since 1990. Therefore, the EIB is the most important external source of finance for Central and Eastern Europe.