EIF and CSOB Officials Sign First Agreements on Support to SMEs

CSOB director and EIF chief sign agreement on support to SMEs (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 26 (TASR) – Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund (EIF) Pier Luigi Gilibert and Ceskoslovenska Obchodna Banka (CSOB) general director Daniel Kollar signed the first two agreements on provision of guarantees for small and medium-sized companies in Slovakia in Bratislava on Monday, TASR learnt. 

These agreements are part of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), a key pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, and they were joined at the press conference by European Vice Vice-President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic.

The first agreement concerns guarantees to be provided under the COSME programme (EU programme for the Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) and will enable CSOB to provide loans worth €100 million to over 5,800 small and medium-sized companies in Slovakia over the upcoming three years. Many of these smaller companies have currently limited access to financing. EIF will provide CSOB with direct guarantees from the COSME programme with the European Commission’s financial backing.

The second agreement, involving the InnovFin programme, will enable CSOB to provide innovative companies in Slovakia with EIF-guaranteed loans under Horizon 2020 (EU programme for research and innovations) in the upcoming two years. This support for innovative companies is expected to generate a credit portfolio amounting to €35 million in Slovakia. Without the Investment Plan for Europe, this agreement would not have been implemented so soon.

Gilibert said that the agreements will represent a big contribution for Slovak companies. The two agreements cover a wide scale of financing solutions, starting from small companies up to medium-capacity innovation companies.

Sefcovic highlighted the fact that the agreements will enable provision of new loans totalling €135 million to small and medium-sized companies in Slovakia. This will contribute to employment and economic growth as almost 6,000 small and medium-sized companies will have access to new financial resources with the support from EC President Jean-Claude Juncker’s investment plan.