>@Philip Pangalos/EIB
©Philip Pangalos/EIB

The European Investment Bank (EIB) today activated a new EUR 400 million Trade and Export Finance guarantee facility for Greece. It will help small and medium sized Greek companies to export more, and to secure the imports they need for their growth.

Under Trade Finance Facility 2, the EIB will guarantee letters of credit, financial guarantees and other trade and export finance instruments issued by Greek banks. The EIB’s guarantee means that overseas customers of Greek companies can be assured that financial commitments made through these trade instruments will be met. Small, medium and midcap firms from across Greece can receive support for trade and export transactions with a maximum tenor of three years.

The facility will also guarantee performance bonds issued on behalf of Greek companies. This will help Greek businesses compete in domestic and international tenders.

“I am very pleased to be in Athens today for the inauguration of the EIB's second Trade Finance Facility for Greece. International trade can make a key contribution to strengthening economic activity across Greece. This second Trade Finance Facility will help Greek companies to compete and win new business on international markets,” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice-President responsible for lending in Greece.

The activation of the Trade Finance Facility 2.0 was inaugurated in Athens at a major conference addressed by EIB Vice President Taylor and Greece’s Alternate Minister for Economy and Development Alexis Charitsis. This senior-level, half-day forum brought together corporates, local banks and international banks to discuss the lessons learned from TFF to date, and the improvements in the new facility. The participants discussed the trade finance climate for Greek corporates, and how new commercial opportunities for Greek business can be realised.

The TFF 2.0 provides for a total of EUR 400m to cover both import and export related finance instruments (including working capital loans) in favour of Greek SMEs and Mid-Caps. TFF 2.0 enables Greek banks to provide trade and export finance services to the Greek SMEs and Midcaps at a time when few commercial lines with confirming banks are available. Supporting trade and export finance can have a major impact on the real economy: SMEs rely on banks to advance working capital to import and export goods and/or assume the payment, counterparty, transport, political, exchange rate and all other risks involved in trade and export transactions.

TFF 2.0 follows the first EIB Trade Finance Facility that was launched in June 2013 and expired in December 2016, and was considered a success by all stakeholders. The first Trade Finance Facility covered transactions for a total of some EUR 400m.