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Investment Plan for Europe: additional finance for SMEs and small mid-caps in the Czech Republic

  •  
    Date: 10 May 2017

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Československá obchodní banka (CSOB), have signed a guarantee agreement that will allow CSOB to provide EUR 50 million of loans to innovative companies in the Czech Republic.

The agreement was signed under the European Commission’s InnovFin initiative, backed by the EU's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. The agreement was made possible by the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EFSI is the central pillar of the European Commission's Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called "Juncker Plan". Today's EUR 50 million transaction is expected to benefit innovative companies across the Czech Republic over the next two years.

EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert, commented: “SMEs contribute to jobs and growth across the EU and the transaction today in the Czech Republic will support the innovation agenda. CSOB has set-up an advisory hub to help its clients identify and benefit from EU funds and financial instruments. The centre’s expertise in dealing with public support schemes will help us target innovative companies more effectively with the backing of EFSI resources.”

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "The Investment Plan for Europe aims to support jobs and growth through facilitating investment in infrastructure projects and access to finance for small and medium-sized businesses. Thousands of small businesses in the Czech Republic are already benefitting from the support of the Investment Plan. With today's agreement, I am glad that even more will have access to the finance they need to create jobs, expand and innovate."

Commenting on the operation, CSOB’s Director of Specialised Finance – EU Centre, Jakub Tomaštík, said: "Innovative companies and their products are the main prerequisite of the future prosperity of Czech economy. We are very glad that we can further support our clients and their investments with preferential financing thanks to the support from European Investment Fund. 

The Junker Plan is already expected to mobilise EUR 183.5 billion across Europe.

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 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 EFSI is available here.

About CSOB

Československá obchodní banka, a. s. (ČSOB), is a universal bank in the Czech Republic. ČSOB was established in 1964 as the sole bank providing foreign trade and foreign currency services. At present ČSOB is a strategically important member of the international KBC Bank and Insurance Group. ČSOB offers to its clients a wide range of banking products and services.

About the Investment Plan for Europe

The Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called Juncker Plan, is one of the European Commission's top priorities. It focuses on boosting investments to create jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects. 

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the central pillar of the Juncker Plan. It provides a first loss guarantee, allowing the EIB to invest in more, often riskier, projects. The EFSI is already showing concrete results. The projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI so far are expected to mobilise more than EUR 183 billion in investments and support over 425,000 SMEs across all 28 Member States. 

In September 2016, President Juncker proposed to extend the EFSI by increasing its firepower and duration as well as reinforcing its strengths. 

About InnovFin

The InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility is established under the "EU InnovFin Finance for Innovators" initiative developed under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for research and Innovation. It 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 the EU and 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

CSOB: Jakub Tomastik
Tel.: +420 224 114 388, E-Mail: jtomastik@csob.cz

European Commission: Enda McNamara
Tel.: + 32 (0)2 29 64 976, E-Mail: enda.mcnamara@ec.europa.eu


 
 

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