In a speech delivered today at the University of Cyprus (UCY), EIB President Werner Hoyer recalled the projects that the EU bank financed in Cyprus in 2014 and reaffirmed the EIB’s strong support for the country and in particular for its knowledge economy.
The EU Bank finalised an agreement to provide UCY with financing of EUR 80 million for the extension and modernisation of the university’s facilities, strengthening its engagement in the educational field.
The finance agreement for UCY which President Hoyer signed together with Harris Georgiades, Cypriot Minister of Finance, and Constantinos Christofides, Rector of UCY, is the EIB’s largest ongoing investment in Cyprus and includes new buildings, upgrading of existing facilities for energy efficiency and anti-seismic armouring. The EIB had already financed a prior investment programme of the University of Cyprus, successfully implemented between 2002 and 2012. The Cypriot Minister of Education and Culture, Costas Kadis, and Professor Christopher Pissarides, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2010, also attended the ceremony. The signature was followed by the opening of an exhibition presenting students’ paintings at the University’s art gallery.
President Hoyer also met with representatives from Cypriot banks to sign credit lines totalling EUR 75 million in support of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). This new financing to the banking sector complements lending signed earlier this year for a total of EUR 110 million. The loan agreements were signed with George Georgiou, Managing Director of Alpha Bank Cyprus (EUR 20 million), with Michalis Louis, CEO of Eurobank Cyprus (EUR 30 million), with Nicholaos Th. Beis, Managing Director of NBG (Cyprus) (EUR 15 million), and with Khalil Letayf, CEO & General Manager of Société Générale Cyprus (EUR 10 million).
President Hoyer said, “The EU bank joins forces with the most dynamic elements of the Cypriot society: the University of Cyprus, promoting an educated and innovative youth, as well as the banking sector, valuable partner in supporting SMEs for growth and jobs. With today’s signatures, we tackle youth unemployment in the short and long term. In a bid to support EU competitiveness, we invest in our future, in generations of competent and skilled youth. Furthermore, our cooperation with these additional financial partners will boost the creation of jobs by providing affordable finance to Cypriot SMEs.”
The President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and EIB President Werner Hoyer, currently visiting Cyprus, today together took part in a Foundation-Stone Laying Ceremony for the construction of a new Faculty of Engineering at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia, reiterating the EU bank’s commitment to the knowledge economy.
The EIB is to provide EUR 100 million for key investments in Cyprus. The loan will be used to part-finance investments totalling EUR 1 177 million in areas identified under the National Strategic Reference Framework for the 2007-2013 period, which include improving the competitiveness of the Cypriot economy, promoting sustainable development, and investing in skills and innovation. It will therefore contribute to the smart, sustainable and inclusive growth of the Cypriot economy in line with the Europe 2020 strategy. This new loan complements a first loan of EUR 200 million provided in 2012 for the same purpose.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) today signed a new EUR 100 million loan with the Bank of Cyprus to support investments by local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and Midcaps, bolstering growth and creating quality new jobs for young people. A State Guarantee agreement between the EIB and the Republic of Cyprus was also signed.