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Investment Plan for Europe: EIF and CMZRB sign first agreement in the Czech Republic to support SMEs

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    Date: 18 August 2015
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Českomoravská záruční a rozvojová banka, a.s. (CMZRB) have signed the first COSME agreement – an EU funding programme for SMEs – in the Czech Republic. The deal benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) through which the Investment Plan for Europe is being deployed by the European Commission and the EIB Group.

The agreement will provide CMZRB with a counter-guarantee allowing the organisation to support EUR 160 million (ca. CZK 4,400 million) of loans to SMEs in the Czech Republic over the next two and a half years. The loans will be provided thanks to a counter-guarantee from EIF under the COSME programme with financial backing from the European Commission. The agreement will make it possible for CMZRB to support additional financing at favourable conditions under its “Programme Guarantee 2015-2023” to over 1,400 small enterprises.

EIF Deputy Chief Executive, Marjut Santoni said: “I am pleased to be signing the first EFSI SME counter-guarantee agreement under the COSME programme in the Czech Republic. EFSI will allow us to increase our support for local companies and help entrepreneurs to start up and develop their businesses. I am convinced that working with CMZRB will support Czech enterprises with limited access to finance to grow their business and create jobs”.

EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska said: "For start-ups and SMEs in Europe to develop and scale up, we need to facilitate access to finance for them. Making full use of the COSME programme is part of that effort. The Investment Plan for Europe is already delivering, and SMEs can now benefit from greater risk financing from the EIF than before."

CMZRB Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ladislav Macka said: „We are very pleased that we can revive our co-operation with the EIF. We believe that it is an excellent example of synergies between the EFSI activities and national SME programmes which is operated by our bank.”

This is one of the first COSME transactions in Europe signed thanks to EFSI support. The deal reflects the EIB Group’s commitment to respond swiftly to calls from Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament for a rapid launch of concrete initiatives under EFSI, accelerating lending and guaranteeing transactions capable of boosting jobs and growth in the EU.

About the EIF

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance 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. EIF’s total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 8.8 billion at end 2014. With investments in over 500 funds, 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. EIF’s guarantees loan portfolio totalled over EUR 5.6 billion in over 350 operations at end 2014, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.

About CMZRB

CMZRB is a specialized state-owned banking entity aimed at contributing to the efficient economic development of the Czech Republic. At present, CMZRB's main mission is to facilitate primarily SMEs' access to financing through specialised banking products and, in accordance with the economic policy aims of the Government and the regions of the Czech Republic, to assist in developing other selected areas of the economy that require public support. Furthermore, CMZRB is the main provider of financial instruments in the Czech Republic funded from both national resources as well as EU structural funds.

About COSME

COSME is the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) running from 2014 to 2020. With a total budget of EUR 2.3 billion, COSME mobilises loans and equity investments to SMEs in Europe. The COSME Loan Guarantee Facility supports guarantees and counter-guarantees to financial institutions to help them provide more loans and lease finance to SMEs. This facility also includes securitisation of SME debt finance portfolios. The COSME programme also invests through the COSME Equity Facility for Growth in equity funds that provide risk capital to SMEs mainly in the expansion and growth stages. The COSME programme builds on the success of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) (2007-2013) which helped to mobilise more than EUR 19 billion of loans and EUR 3 billion of venture capital to over 370,000 SMEs in Europe.

Businesses can contact selected financial institutions in their country to access EU financing: www.access2finance.eu 

About the Investment Plan for Europe

Press contacts:

EIF: David Yormesor Tel.: +352 42 66 88 346, e-mail: d.yormesor@eif.org

CMZRB: Lubomír Rajdl Tel.: +420 255 721 250, e-mail:rajdl@cmzrb.cz

European Commission: Annika Breidthardt Tel.: +322 295 6153, e-mail: Annika.breidthardt@ec.europa.eu


 
 

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