Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria and the European Investment Fund signed a 35 million euro guarantee agreement to increase lending to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Bulgaria, the European Commission said on February 2.
The loan comes under the Horizon 2020 programme’s InnovFin initiative and benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments, part of the Investment Plan for Europe put forward by Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.
It is the second loan of this kind secured by a Bulgarian bank, with CIBank having signed an agreement with the European Investment Fund in October 2015 to lend 100 million euro to SMEs over a period of three years.
Kristalina Georgieva, EC 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 35 million euro. 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.”
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)