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Public relations section
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD, a subsidiary of Raiffeisen Bank International AG, have signed a guarantee agreement to increase lending to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-caps in Bulgaria. This transaction benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.
The new agreement will allow Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) to provide EUR 35m of loans to innovative companies in Bulgaria over the next 2 years. The loans will be enabled by an EIF guarantee under the “EU InnovFin finance for Innovators” initiative with financial backing from the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme. The agreement will make it possible for Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) to offer innovative companies additional financing at favourable conditions.
Commenting on the agreement, Kristalina Georgieva, European Commission Vice-President for Budget and Human Resources, said: “For the second time in less than half a year, Bulgaria taps into the guarantee provided under the Investment Plan, this time for EUR 35 million. This agreement is again for what matters the most – support for SMEs which create most of the new jobs in Europe. I commend this pro-activity and wish all the success to the companies that will take advantage of this opportunity".
EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert commented: “The signature with Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) demonstrates our commitment to rolling out the EFSI programme rapidly. By boosting finance for innovative companies through the InnovFin SME Guarantee product we can provide effective and timely support to Bulgarian businesses to help them develop and strengthen new products and services”.
Oliver Rögl, CEO of Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) commented: “We are very happy to participate in this programme, which is another sign of our good cooperation with the European financial institutions. Thanks to it we will further expand our support to small and medium sized companies and prove again that we are a trustful partner of the Bulgarian business”.
This is the first InnovFin transaction in Bulgaria signed thanks to EFSI support. The deal reflects the EIB Group’s commitment to respond swiftly to calls from Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament for a rapid launch of concrete initiatives under EFSI, accelerating lending and guaranteeing transactions capable of boosting jobs and growth in the EU.