Import and export focused companies across Greece will benefit from a new 134 million euros trade finance partnership between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and HSBC, the two announced in Athens on Wednesday.
This will strengthen trade and export finance services provided by participating Greek banks to local companies and addresses a key market gap that continues to restrict international business by Greek companies.
The 134 million euros trade finance was announced at the EIB Athens office by Eleni Vrettou, managing director, head of Wholesale Banking, and Jonathan Taylor, vice president of the European Investment Bank, in the presence of Alternate Minister of Economy Alexis Charitsis and Steve Banner, Chief Executive Office of HSBC Greece.
HSBC was also a partner in the EIB’s Trade Finance Facility developed specially for Greece and successfully implemented since 2013. The expanded programme, implemented last year, is expected to support 400 million euros of trade related working capital, as well as guarantees covering, political and payment risks.
Following Wednesday’s agreement, companies across Greece will benefit from new trade financing provided locally by the National Bank of Greece and Piraeus Bank, and guaranteed by the EIB and HSBC, alongside Citibank and Commerzbank. Other leading Greek banks are expected to join the initiative in the coming months.
“Companies across the country have benefited from the EIB’s first Trade Finance Facility developed specifically for Greece. Building on the success of the first initiative over the last three years, I welcome the EIB’s recent launch of the second Trade Finance Initiative to support 400 million euros of crucial financing for internationally active Greek companies. This financial instrument is the outcome of our very close ongoing cooperation with the EIB over the last three years that has brought more than 2.5 billion euros to the Greek economy in 2017 alone. The 134 million backing confirmed today by HSBC demonstrates the clear commitment of international banks to expand engagement in Greece and the key role of the EIB” said Alexis Charitsis, Alternate Minister of Economy of Development of the Hellenic Republic.”
“Export focused companies are an integral part of the Greek economy and expanded international trade is crucial for economic growth. Trade finance is essential for most international trade and the EIB is committed to working with international and Greek banking partners to overcome trade finance barriers. The new 134 million euros partnership between HSBC and the EIB builds on the success of previous trade finance cooperation and ensure enhanced access of leading Greek companies to global markets. Today’s agreement will both improve access to trade finance by Greek companies and demonstrates the clear commitment of international and local banks to ensuring that Greek companies can expand business opportunities and create jobs,” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.
“We are proud to continue our partnership with the EIB. This deal will enable more businesses to access growth markets around the world. Trade has a significant role to play in the Greek economic recovery and HSBC is pleased to be playing its part in supporting the growth aspirations of our clients,” said Eleni Vrettou, Managing Director, Head of Wholesale Banking, HSBC Greece.
Last year the European Investment Bank Group provided 2.49 billion euros of new financing for public and private investment across Greece.