Bulgaria's National Guarantee Fund Launches New Program for SMEs
The National Guarantee Fund (NGF), an affiliate of the Bulgarian Development Bank (BDB), is launching a new guarantee program under which 50% of the risk in loans provided by commercial banks to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be covered.
The new program aims to facilitate access to financing for the business sector and to alleviate the high collateral requirements demanded by banks.
The total capacity of the new program is BGN 360 M, according to the BDB.
SMEs will be able to apply for funding with commercial banks, which will in turn receive loan guarantees from the NGF.
The guarantees will be applicable to both investment and turnover loans.
The program introduces new rules which will contribute to the greater flexibility, independence and swiftness of operations of commercial banks in the provision of loans guaranteed by the NGF.
The scheme also envisages increasing the period for which the guarantees are issued.
"We believe that the guarantee scheme developed by the NGF will provide opportunities for implementing a number of promising projects which banks currently cannot finance due to insufficient collateral. We conducted preliminary talks with representatives of commercial banks in order to make the terms of the program attractive for them and for the business sector. We hope that we will support the provision of investment loans through the guarantee program, thereby increasing investments in the economy and stimulating job creation," said Iliya Karanikolov, Chair of the Board of Directors of the NGF.
The selection of partner banks under the new guarantee scheme has already started and commercial banks are invited to apply for participation by September 10, 2013.
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