World Economy

Greece SMEs to Receive $791 Million EU Loan

Greece SMEs to Receive $791 Million EU LoanGreece SMEs to Receive $791 Million EU Loan

The European Investment Fund signed three loan guarantee agreements with Greece’s National Bank worth €640 million ($791.04 million) to provide funding to small and medium-sized businesses to support the Greek economy’s recovery.

The EIF is part of the European Investment Bank group which aims to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses by helping them to access finance, Reuters reported.

“Our exposure to Greece is now about €1 billion,” said EIF CEO Pier Luigi Gilibert. “This has successfully catalyzed €3.5 billion in additional funding.” Greece, slowly emerging from a deep financial crisis, is expected to exit its third international bailout in August. Its economy is gradually recovering. Gross domestic product grew 1.4% last year.

Gilibert said the EIF supports innovative companies active in sectors including artificial intelligence, fintech and big data. Its loan guarantees are risk sharing instruments, enabling banks on the ground to choose eligible firms.

Under the so-called InnovFin agreement, NBG will provide loans at favorable terms to innovative SMEs for two years. The EIF’s support for innovative Greek companies is expected to generate a portfolio of €100 million of loans.

The second agreement, COSME, will allow NBG to provide €500 million of loans to around 1,900 small businesses in Greece over three years. EaSI microfinance guarantee, the third facility, will provide €40 million of loans to 3,400 micro-borrowers, very small companies which have difficulties in accessing credit across the country.

“With today’s financing agreements, the Juncker Plan continues to support Greek companies tangibly and help them grow,” said EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos.



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