The European Investment Fund (EIF) and DSK Bank have signed an agreement to provide EUR 15 million in financing to innovative Bulgarian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-caps under the European Commission’s InnovFin initiative, backed by the EU's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.
EIF is providing a guarantee that will enable DSK Bank to provide loans on advantageous terms to SMEs which would otherwise not have been able to access finance. The transaction is expected to generate a portfolio of EUR 15 million of bank loans.
European Commission Vice-President, Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “SMEs are playing a crucial role in creating jobs and spurring growth in the Bulgarian economy. Today's agreement demonstrates that our strategy to support these SMEs through creating financing solutions that would otherwise not have been available to them is working. I wish the small businesses that will benefit from the financing backed by the Investment Plan every success.”
EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert, commented: “Improving access to finance for SMEs is a key factor in ensuring sustainable development and competitiveness. I warmly welcome this new transaction in Bulgaria, which will allow EIF and the European Commission to jointly support additional Bulgarian entrepreneurs.”
Ms. Violina Marinova, DSK Bank CEO, added: “DSK Bank remains strongly committed to the Bulgarian SME sector and we continue to take action in line with this commitment. As a leader in trust on the Bulgarian banking market it is DSK Bank’s priority to establish and develop a long term relationship with clients and the InnovFin agreement would allow us to provide our current and future business clients easier access to funding, give them incentive to develop new projects and focus on growth. Through the new guarantee programme we will support innovative Bulgarian companies that are at the heart of our country’s economic growth and that otherwise would not be able to obtain affordable financing.”
About DSK Bank
As the only bank in the country with more than 65 years of tradition, DSK Bank has managed to establish itself over the years as the preferred partner and the most trusted bank. The Bank stands out with its largest retail customer base, which allows it to reach practically every Bulgarian family. Servicing over three million customers and disposing of the largest branch network in Bulgaria, the Bank has an incomparable service-provision infrastructure, it is well acquainted with the local potential and offers high level of servicing through individual approach and full range of bank products and services, which are tailor made to the needs of all customer segments. Against the backdrop of a dynamically changing economic landscape in recent years, the SME and corporate segments have gained priority within the Bank’s business strategy. Aiming to further facilitate its SME and corporate customers and win over new ones, in recent years DSK Bank has effectively implemented a network of business centers at key locations across the country. Offering a new model of interaction with business clients - personal approach, professionalism, timely and quality service and individual solutions, the business centers helped the Bank reposition itself as the preferred business banking partner.
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