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Investment Plan for Europe: 450 businesses in Lithuania to benefit from EFSI InnovFin agreement between EIF and Šiaulių bankas

    Date: 29 September 2016

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Šiaulių bankas AB (Šiaulių bankas) have signed an agreement to enhance access to finance to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Lithuania. This transaction benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.

The new agreement will allow Šiaulių bankas to provide financing solutions at reduced interest rates to SMEs and small mid-caps over the next two years. EIF’s guarantee is provided under the “EU InnovFin finance for Innovators” initiative with the financial backing under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The EU’s support for innovative Lithuanian companies under this transaction is expected to generate a portfolio of EUR 50 million of loans and leases for approximatively 450 businesses.

Commenting on the signature, Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, responsible for Health and Food Safety, said: “Thanks to this agreement guaranteed under the Investment Plan for Europe, 450 small businesses in Lithuania will be able to obtain financing solutions that would otherwise not have been available. It is an excellent initiative and I fully encourage Lithuanian SMEs to take advantage of this new opportunity.”

EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “Thanks to previous transactions, Šiaulių bankas is a long-standing partner of EIF and I am pleased to see that EIF is pursuing its cooperation with Šiaulių bankas through the signature of an EFSI InnovFin agreement. Šiaulių bankas benefits from a strong presence in the entire country and will therefore allow for more innovative SMEs and small mid-caps in Lithuania to benefit from advantageous financing solutions.”

Chief Executive Officer of Šiaulių Bankas, Vytautas Sinius, noted that the agreement with EIF will allow Šiaulių Bankas to enhance the financing options to small and medium-sized enterprises in Lithuania. "We welcome such a successful long-term partnership with the European Investment Fund. Financing of small and medium-sized businesses under the InnovFin facility will enable us to offer to companies the opportunity of borrowing for innovative business development at favourable terms, thus making a significant contribution to the development of the innovation-based economy in Lithuania", - emphasised Chief Executive Officer of Šiaulių Bankas, Vytautas Sinius.

This transaction with Šiaulių bankas reflects the EU's commitment to rapidly launch concrete initiatives under the EFSI, accelerating lending and guaranteeing transactions capable of boosting jobs and growth in the EU.

About 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. More information on EIF's work under the EFSI is available here.

About Šiaulių bankas

Šiaulių bankas, rapidly and steadily growing owner of the biggest Lithuanian capital share, was founded in 1992. The bank provides consumer financing, saving, investment and daily banking services to individuals and corporate customers, offers fast and flexible financing options to business, and focuses on small and medium-sized businesses in particular. Šiaulių Bankas services its customers in 69 customer service points operating in 38 cities and towns throughout Lithuania. The bank's shares are quoted on the Main List of the NASDAQ Baltics.

Two solid international business and finance magazines positively evaluated the successful recent year performance of Šiaulių Bankas recognising it as the Best Bank in Lithuania. The Banker, issued by an influential Great Britain’s daily newspaper The Financial Times, announced this in 2015, while business and finance publication Global Finance in 2015 and 2016.

About the Investment Plan for Europe

The Investment Plan for Europe focuses on strengthening European investments to create jobs and growth. It does so by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment, providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects. The Investment Plan is already showing results. The European Investment Bank (EIB) estimates that the projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI so far (by 26 September 2016) are expected to mobilise EUR 127.2 billion in total investments across 27 Member States and to support almost 290,000 SMEs.

Building on this success, the European Commission on 14 September 2016 proposed extending the EFSI by increasing its firepower and duration as well as reinforcing its strengths. Find the latest EFSI figures including a break-down by sector and by country here. For more information see the FAQs.

About InnovFin

The InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility provides guarantees and counter-guarantees on debt financing of between EUR 25,000 and EUR 7.5 million in order to improve access to loan finance for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises and small mid-caps (up to 499 employees). The facility is managed by EIF, and is rolled out through financial intermediaries – banks and other financial institutions – in EU Member States and Associated Countries. Under this facility, financial intermediaries are guaranteed by EIF against a proportion of their losses incurred on the debt financing covered under the facility.

Press contacts:

EIF: David Yormesor
Tel.: + 352 24 85 81 346, E-Mail: d.yormesor@eif.org

Šiaulių bankas: Daiva Grikšienė
Tel.: + 370 41 420 564, E-Mail: daiva.griksiene@sb.lt

European Commission: Siobhán Millbright
Tel.: + 32 (0)2 29 57 361, E-Mail: siobhan.millbright@ec.europa.eu


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