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Second RSI guarantee agreement in Poland for innovative businesses

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    Date: 01 October 2013
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Raiffeisen-Leasing Polska S.A. have signed a guarantee agreement to support lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) under the Risk Sharing Instrument (RSI), a joint initiative of the European Investment Bank Group and the European Commission.

This agreement allows Raiffeisen-Leasing Polska S.A. to provide innovative companies in Poland with access to a total of EUR 60 million of debt financing over the next two years and with support of the 50% guarantee offered by the EIF. This enables Raiffeisen-Leasing Polska S.A. to offer innovative companies additional financing at favourable conditions.

This is the second RSI agreement in Poland and sixteenth in Europe, bringing the total loan financing available to innovative businesses across the EU to above EUR 1.7 billion.

The aim of the RSI Facility is to encourage banks to lend to SMEs and Small Mid-Caps with less than 500 employees in need of investment financing and/or operating capital to support research, development and innovation activities. Banks are being selected by the EIF following a call for expression of interest for financial intermediaries across Europe.

Commenting on the signature, in Warsaw, Senior Structured Finance Manager at EIF Roland Kampe said: “I am pleased to be signing our second RSI agreement in Poland, and our first agreement with a Leasing company, under the new Risk Sharing Instrument (RSI) in support of innovative small and medium sized enterprises. Through the provision of a 50% guarantee, EIF will be helping Raiffeisen-Leasing Polska – one of our long term partners - to quickly channel much needed finance efficiently to innovation driven businesses across the country.”

Arkadiusz Etryk, President of the Management Board of Raiffeisen-Leasing Polska said: “I am proud that Raiffeisen-Leasing Polska is the first leasing company in Europe with signed agreement with EIF under the Risk Sharing Instrument (RSI). I believe it’s very important step ahead, for our company but mainly for our Clients: many small and medium sized Polish firms, because I’m deeply convinced that SMEs will help Polish economy to grow and become more competitive through the knowledge, innovations and entrepreneurship. This agreement is the commendation for RLPL, but also is the big challenge.”

The Risk-Sharing Instrument (RSI)

RSI is a pilot guarantee scheme which supports the financing of R&D and/or innovation driven SMEs and Small Mid-Caps. The RSI is a joint initiative of the EIF, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission. It is supported by the European Union under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) and uses EIF's risk-taking capacity. It is part of, and complements, the existing Risk Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF), managed by the EIB.

Under this facility, the European Investment Fund (EIF) is, in exchange for a fee, providing guarantees to banks and leasing companies that lend to SMEs and Small Mid-Caps. The guarantee covers, upon default, 50% of the outstanding amount of each loan. Some 30 or so banks are expected to participate in the pilot phase, allowing the RSI to reach up to 2,500 beneficiaries with a total loan volume of up to €2.5 billion.

The call is open to financial or credit institutions, established and operating in the EU and/or countries associated to FP7, including, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, Switzerland, Israel, Turkey, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, the Faroe Islands and Moldova.

About the EIF

EIF's central mission is to support Europe's small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance.  EIF designs and develops venture capital and guarantees instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. The EIF’s total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 6.5 billion at end 2012. With investments in over 400 funds, the EIF is a leading player in European venture due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in high-tech and early-stage segments. The EIF guarantees loan portfolio totalled over EUR 8 billion in close to 250 operations at end 2012, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.

About Raiffeisen-Leasing Polska S.A.

Raiffeisen-Leasing Polska  (RLPL) started up activity in Poland in 30 January 1998 with shareholders: 50% - Raiffeisen Polbank Polska S.A. and 50% - Raiffeisen-Leasing International GmbH, Wien.

RLPL is one of the largest leasing companies in Poland with 10% share in Polish market of road transport vehicles, 7% share in sector of machinery and equipment, 8,5% share in market of real property and about 15% share in leasing of air transport vehicles. RLPL ‘s mission is to support Polish companies, especially small and medium-sized businesses. RLPL also develops new business areas, for examples: IT, medicine.

Raiffeisen-Leasing Polska operates all over Poland by affiliates situated in main Polish cities with head-office in Warsaw.

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