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    EIF and Raiffeisenbank to provide up to €150 million for SMEs in Bulgaria

    • Guarantee agreement extended to support COVID-19 recovery of Bulgarian SMEs
    • Raiffeisenbank will provide loans with more favourable conditions, backed by EIF guarantee supported under the European Guarantee Fund (EGF)
    • The EGF is backed by Bulgaria and other EU Member States and is part of the €540 billion EU rescue package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

    The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria EAD have signed an additional guarantee agreement in support of Bulgarian companies and extended the period in which they can apply for COVID-related funding until 31 December 2022. The transaction will guarantee a portfolio of €150 million in new financing, and is made possible under the European Guarantee Fund. It follows two earlier agreements signed between the EIF and Raiffeisenbank since the start of the pandemic.

    The guarantee agreement enables Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria to continue to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-caps in Bulgaria. So far, the guarantees backed by the European Guarantee Fund (EGF) with Raiffeisenbank are expected to unlock up to €300 million in SME and Mid-Cap financing. The transactions benefit from support by the EGF, implemented by the European Investment Fund with the financial backing of the contributing Member States.

    Under the agreements, companies will be able to access financing for investment loans up to ten years, working capital loans up to five years and revolving loans and overdrafts up to four - five years depending on the applicable State Aid Regime.

    Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria and the EIF have significantly strengthen their cooperation in recent years. So far the cooperation resulted in over €1.1 billion of financial agreements, including over €560 million to support Bulgarian SMEs facing the negative economic effects since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Roger Havenith, Deputy Chief Executive of the EIF, said: "Businesses across Europe continue to deal with the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The EIF’s reinforced partnership with Raiffeisenbank under the European Guarantee Fund, will provide much needed financing for Bulgarian companies to bridge their financing needs. I want to thank Raiffeisenbank for the excellent cooperation."

    EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova commented: "Supporting SMEs with more accessible financing during the COVID-19 pandemic is key to the economic recovery and prosperity of Bulgaria. Under the European Guarantee Fund, the EIB Group has approved 12 operations so far which are expected to mobilise more than €2.1 billion in investments in the Bulgarian economy. I am delighted that with our partner Raiffeisenbank, we are today announcing another milestone in our cooperation."

    Dobromir Dobrev, Deputy CEO of Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) said: "Thanks to our excellent cooperation with the EIF, to date we have supported 7 600 projects of Bulgarian small and medium-sized companies with more than €680 million. Now, we will extend our support for SMEs and Small Mid-caps at a crucial time for the Bulgarian Business to overcome the consequences of COVID-19 pandemic."


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