EIF signs four new agreements worth 120 mln euro for low-interest SMEs loans

The European Investment Fund (EIF) has signed four new JEREMIE agreements in Romania with Banca Transilvania, BRD – Groupe Societe Generale, ProCredit Bank and Raiffeisen Bank. Based on this arrangements, other 120 million euro will be available to SMEs under the new Portfolio Risk Sharing Loan instrument, thus SMEs benefitting from much lower interest rates as well as reduced collateral requirements for new loans destined to investments or working capital, EIF announces through a press release.

“The portfolio risk sharing and interest subsidy JEREMIE instrument is new in Romania, but has already been successfully implemented by EIF in several countries. The instrument complements the existing JEREMIE guarantee and risk capital facilities by providing new financing options for a wider range of SMEs in various sectors and stages of development.  This demonstrates that Structural Funds can be used efficiently to support SMEs access to finance and we will be able to build on these initial achievements under the future cohesion policy.”, the EIF Deputy Director, Huber Cottogni, Head of Regional Business Development, said, commenting on the signatures.

The four new transactions have been made possible through the increase of the JEREMIE resources by the Government of Romania in November by means of a further allocation to the initiative from the Sectoral Operational Programme “Increase of Economic Competitiveness” 2007-2013, co-financed through ERDF. The SMEs loans under this instrument shall be provided by the selected banks in compliance with the relevant de minimis aid scheme, is stated by the same press release.

JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises) is a joint initiative launched by the European Commission (Directorate General Regional Policy) and the European Investment Bank Group to improve access to finance for SMEs in the EU within the Structural Funds framework for the period 2007 - 2013. JEREMIE enables the EU Member States and Regions to put money from the structural funds and also national resources into holding funds that can finance SMEs in a flexible and innovative way. The new initiative aims at developing and fostering the role of entrepreneurship within the EU.

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