A series of funding agreements signed between domestic banks, the European Investment Bank and other international credit institutions recently will offer a cash injection to small- and medium-sized enterprises in the country, in a period when there is an absolute need for new capital.
National Bank signed a 300-million-euro funding agreement with European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and European Investment Fund, for the support of Greek enterprises. The agreement is based on the securitization of corporate liabilities made by National Bank two months ago, safeguarding a significantly lower cost for draining capital.
Jonathan Taylor, vice-president of European Investment Bank, and in charge of the bank’s operations in Greece, said EIB was showing strong interest in medium-sized enterprises, the back bone of the Greek economy and the core of EIB’s efforts in Greece. The transaction, he said, was the first step to help National Bank in its return to the markets.
National Bank’s CEO, Leonidas Fragiadakis, said the agreement will allow the bank to offer new funding products to small- and medium-sized enterprises and medium capitalization enterprises with favorable terms. The program is expected to benefit around 300 enterprises, boosting employment with the creation of more than 200 job positions particularly for young people aged below 25 years old.
Eurobank also signed a funding agreement worth 230 milion euros with the European Investment Fund, improving Greek SMEs’ access to funding. These agreements are supported by the European Strategic Investments Fund, a basic pylon of a Juncker Plan for Europe. The COSME program will channel 130 million euros to more than 1,000 SMEs in Greek over a period of three years. Eurobank, through an InnovFin program will channel funds to innovative SMEs for the next two years worth 100 million euros.
Pier Luigi Gilibert, European Investment Fund CEO, commenting on the agreement said it confirmed the fund’s commitment to Greek entrepreneurs.
Eurobank’s CEO, Fokion Karavias, said funding of Greek SMEs was a crucial challenge for the Greek economy and its efforts to recover.