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Investment Plan for Europe: EIF and BGK sign first COSME agreement in Europe to benefit Polish businesses

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    Date: 29 July 2015
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) have signed the first COSME transaction benefitting 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 BGK with a counter-guarantee allowing the organisation to support PLN 1,000 million (ca. EUR 250 million) of loans to SMEs in Poland over the next two years. The loans will be provided without hard collateral thanks to a 80% guarantee which in turn is backed by a counter-guarantee from the EIF, provided under the COSME programme with financial backing from the Commission. The agreement will make it possible for BGK to launch a new guarantee product and to support additional financing without requiring hard collateral (e.g. mortgage) at favourable conditions to approximately 5,000 SMEs.

Speaking at the signature ceremony in Warsaw, EIF Deputy Chief Executive, Marjut Santoni said: “I am pleased to be signing the first EFSI SME guarantee agreement under the COSME programme with BGK. 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 BGK – our long-term partner – will support thousands of Polish enterprises with limited access to finance due to lack of collateral to grow their business and create jobs”.

EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska said: "This agreement once again demonstrates the European Commission’s commitment to helping small companies thrive. By improving access to finance for SMEs, we support investments in growth and jobs for Poland and the EU."

Artur Radziwiłł, Undersecretary of State, the Ministry of Finance stated: “The agreement signed today, foreseeing provision of guarantees for SME financing, is an example of practical actions that contribute to boosting investments and competitiveness of the economy. Functioning of SMEs is of vital importance for the entire economy and its ability to respond to emerging challenges. The common project of the EIF and BGK also perfectly fits in the actions envisaged by the Investment Plan for Europe presented by the European Commission in December last year. Today’s agreement is the first project implemented in Poland with the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments, which was formally established early July this year. We hope that this agreement marks the beginning of series of similar projects with the support of the Fund.”

Undersecretary of State in Ministry of Economy, Ilona Antoniszyn-Klik noted that: “Activities in favour of providing wide participation of Polish entities in EU programmes like COSME and benefiting from the EU level financial instruments have been in the interest of Ministry of Economy since many years. That is why, currently we are involved in second long-term program in this area (first was related to CIP participation). We are financing the activity of Enterprise Europe Network and National Contact Point for Financial Instruments of the EU Programmes, which co-operated in the initiation of today’s project.”

BGK President, Dariusz Kacprzyk said: "Agreement with EIF is the effect of implementing BGK strategy in the scope of supporting SME sector in Poland.  COSME shall supplement the existing guarantee offer of BGK which in two years has been used by more than 86 thousand small and medium companies. Due to this agreement BGK shall offer to entrepreneurs attractive guarantees for the revolving or investment loans. We treat the agreement with EIF as the beginning of long-term co-operation in the scope of guarantee activity.”

This is the first COSME transaction signed thanks to EFSI support. This 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 BGK

BGK, one of EIF’s shareholders, is the only state-owned development bank in Poland. BGK initiates and implements programmes for economic growth in Poland. It is the centre of competence in the financing of infrastructure projects, export, municipal companies and local governments. The Bank develops systems of sureties and guarantees aimed at stimulating the entrepreneurship. It participates in programmes to improve the situation in the housing market and access to housing for Poles. The Bank manages European programmes and distributes EU funds on a national and regional scale. It is a leading institution in the process of consolidation of public finances.

More information about BGK’s guarantee with EIF counter-guarantee: visit www.bgk.pl

The National Contact Point for Financial Instruments of the EU Programmes

(NCP) facilitates access to preferential financing, generated through EU support, for polish entrepreneurs and financial institutions. The NCP engages in information and promotional actions as well as consultancy. The NCP supports implementation of all EU programmes that involve financial instruments for entrepreneurs, including instruments supported by the Investment Plan. NCP’s services are provided throughout the country and are free of charge. The NCP is located within the Polish Bank Association, under a special partnership agreement. It operates on the basis of a Resolution of the Polish government and is supervised by the Minister of Economy. More about the NCP’s support: www.InstrumentyFinansoweUE.gov.pl

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 2.3bn, 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 18 bn of loans and EUR 3 bn of venture capital to over 350,000 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

This COSME transaction 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. Over recent months the EIB has agreed financing for projects which are expected to be backed by the EU budget guarantee under the EFSI initiative. All projects, including those earmarked for support under the EFSI guarantee, need to receive approval by the EIB board prior to loan contracts being finalised. So far, EIB warehoused 14 projects with a volume of EUR 1.9 billion under EFSI, which will mobilise total investment of EUR 8.5 billion. At the same time the European Investment Fund (EIF) has helped to mobilise more than EUR 8 billion of private investment through 30 new transactions.

About the Investment Plan for Europe

Press contacts:

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

BGK: Anna Czyż
Tel.: +48 22 599 80 67, e-mail: media@bgk.pl


 
 

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