1000 Bulgarian SMEs to Receive EUR 100 M in Loans Under EU Investment Plan
Following the conclusion of an agreement between the European Investment Fund (EIF) and Cibank on Friday, 1000 Bulgarian SMEs will be eligible to receive EUR 100 M in loans under the programme for Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME).
COSME is a mechanism of the EU for financing SMEs with the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) through which the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group are implementing the Investment Plan for Europe announced by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
The agreement foresees that in the next three years Cibank will provide a total of BGN 200 M in loans to Bulgarian SMEs.
The loans will be provided with a guarantee from EIF with the financial assistance of the European Commission.
In this way Cibank will be able to offer additional funding at favourable conditions to more than 1000 SMEs.
Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva welcomed the agreement as an excellent news for Bulgarian enterprises and the country's economy.
Georgieva added that given the difficult economic conditions there was a heightened need for investments and called on enterpises to make use of the loans.
The head of the Guarantees, Securitisation and Microfinance at EIF, Alessandro Tappi, was delighted to sign the first EFSI agreement thanks to which Bulgarian SMEs will be provided with guarantees under the COSME programme.
Tappi expressed hope that the agreement will provide more considerable support to enterprises and will help entrepreneurs to develop their activity and create new jobs.
CEO of Cibank, Petar Andronov, commented that the signing of the guarantee agreement between EIF and the bank represented a new stage of the successful cooperation between the two institutions.
Andronov noted that EIF will be a stable and reliable partner to Bulgarian enterprises.
This is one of the first agreements under the COSME programme concluded with the assistance of EFSI.
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