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CIP loan guarantee agreement to benefit businesses in Austria

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    Date: 10 January 2013

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Austria Wirtschaftsservice (AWS) have signed a CIP loan counter-guarantee agreement to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Austria.

Thanks to this counter-guarantee transaction under the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP), start-ups and established companies in Austria can now have easier access to finance thanks to increased guarantee volumes offered at substantially reduced guarantee fees.

This transaction will allow AWS to increase its guarantee volumes to businesses and will help to generate a new portfolio of guarantees worth up to EUR 180m over the next two years. 

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 total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 6bn at end 2011. With investments in over 370 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 7.6bn in close to 220 operations at end 2011, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.

About Austria Wirtschaftsservice

Aws is the Austrian government promotional bank. Aws supports 5.000 SMEs per year by offering guarantees, loans, grants, advisory services and equity. The core business of aws includes promotional schemes for investments of start-ups and small and medium sized businesses.

About CIP

The Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP), which spans from 2007 to 2013, has been put in place to boost European productivity, innovation capacity and sustainable growth, whilst simultaneously addressing complementary environmental concerns.

Within the framework of the CIP, the European Investment Fund (EIF) has been allocated EUR 1.1bn to be split between venture capital – with the High Growth and Innovative SME Facility (GIF) - and guarantees – with the SME Guarantee Facility (SMEG).

Press contact:
Susanne Gutjahr, Head of Communication, e-mail: s.gutjahr@eif.org, tel (+ 352) 42 66 88 487

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