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  • The EU bank will provide €100 million in EGF guarantees to UniCredit Bank Slovakia.
  • The new operation will accelerate the COVID-19 recovery of Slovak companies of all sizes.
  • This is the first EIB EGF operation in Slovakia; as of 31 August 2021 the EGF had approved €18 billion in guarantees expected to mobilise €143.7 billion of investment in the EU economy.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the bank of the European Union, will provide €100 million in guarantees stemming from its European Guarantee Fund (EGF) to UniCredit Bank Slovakia, enabling it to offer more affordable financing for a faster COVID-19 recovery of Slovak companies — small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), mid-caps and large corporates.

The transaction with UniCredit Bank will finance the working capital, additional liquidity needs or ongoing and new investments and expansion plans of Slovak companies of all sizes and help the companies to weather the COVID-19 crisis, protect jobs and fuel Slovak economic and social growth.

The financing will be available to companies operating in sectors in line with EIB’s long-term mission, namely innovation, the environment and indirect SME support.

EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova, who is in charge of operations in the Republic of Slovakia, said: “The EIB is extremely glad to see that concrete, tangible, and multi-million-euro support for Slovak companies is on the way to accelerate their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This operation will provide affordable financing to Slovak companies so they can weather the crisis, protect jobs and income for Slovaks and continue to contribute to Slovakia’s economic and social development. The fact that our EGF continues to deliver on its pledge to accelerate the recovery of the European economy from the devastating impact of the pandemic is a source of much pride at the EIB. In this context, I would like to thank our long-term partners at UniCredit for the opportunity to once again invest in a sustainable, green and prosperous future for all Europeans.”

Igor Matovič, Minister of Finance of the Slovak Republic, said: “Slovakia joined the EGF to take part in a coordinated response to the impact of the coronavirus on the EU economies with which Slovakia is deeply interlinked. While the immediate support in Slovakia was provided by the Slovak government directly, I am pleased to see that the EGF fits in by providing additional support to help Slovak companies with recovering and becoming more resilient, and safeguarding jobs and income, in a still fragile economic environment.”

Jakub Dusílek, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia, said: “UniCredit Bank is one of the key players in corporate financing on the Slovak banking market. I am really glad and would like to thank the EIB that we can be part of the new guarantee programme which is being launched in Slovakia and within which we can provide favorable financing totaling 200 million euros in order to help companies overcome the difficult period affected by the pandemic. This step has made UniCredit Bank definitely one of the leaders in terms of the scope and complexity of the offer of European and domestic guarantee programmes. We offer solutions for businesses of all sizes in all regions. It is important for us that we can thus participate together in the economic recovery of Slovakia.”

EGF on track to deliver €200 billion in investment for faster COVID-19 recovery of EU economy

The EIB-UniCredit risk-sharing operation stems from the European Guarantee Fund (EGF), the €25 billion fund set up by the EIB as a part of the EU package to help businesses recover from the pandemic, hire employees and grow.

The EGF provides guarantees to free up capital for national promotional banks, local banks and other financial intermediaries in order to make more financing available for small and medium companies, mid-caps and corporates. Slovakia is one of 22 EU member countries participating in the EGF by providing €75 million in guarantees.

The guarantees from EGF-participating countries cover losses that may occur in the EGF operations of the EIB Group — including the EIB and its specialised SME-financing arm, the European Investment Fund.

About the EIB in Slovakia:

Since the beginning of its lending operations in Slovakia in 1992, the EIB has invested €9.59 billion across key economic sectors — including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), transport, infrastructure and energy. In 2020 alone, we invested €169.3 million to support social and economic development in Slovakia.

One of the EIB’s main activities in Slovakia is to help SMEs and to improve their access to long-term financing by creating credit lines with local financial institutions. In 2020 alone, the EIB supported 520 Slovak SMEs, sustaining over 15 500 jobs in the process, while reinforcing the stability of the country’s financial institutions.

Responding to the COVID-19 emergency, the EIB has provided €209.4 million to the Slovak economy to improve its resilience and strengthen its economic recovery.