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Call for expression of interest to select Financial Intermediaries for the Romania JEREMIE Holding Fund (Deadline: 19.10.2009)

  •  
    Date: 24 August 2009 - 19 October 2009

ROMANIAlogos

Call for Expression of Interest No. JER-002/1 to select Financial Intermediaries that will receive resources from the European Investment Fund acting through the JEREMIE Holding Fund for Romania to implement the following Financial Instrument: Structured Loan Portfolio Guarantee

Reference number: Call for EoI No. JER-002/1

Introduction

The JEREMIE initiative is a framework providing a series of coherent actions to promote increased access to finance for (primarily) micro to medium enterprises.

The JEREMIE initiative in Romania is organised through the European Investment Fund (hereinafter, "EIF") acting through the JEREMIE Holding Fund (hereinafter, "JHF"). Through the JHF, the EIF manages funds made available from the European Regional Development Fund (hereinafter, "ERDF") and related public expenditure awarded for utilisation under the JEREMIE initiative.

As part of the Sectoral Operational Programme "Increase of Economic Competitiveness" 2007-2013[1] (hereinafter, "SOP IEC"), the Government of Romania has agreed to dedicate resources to the implementation of the JEREMIE initiative with the EIF, in accordance with Article 44(b)(i) of the Council Regulation (EC) No. 1083/2006[2] (hereinafter, "Reg. 1083/2006") and in accordance with the provisions of the Funding Agreement entered into on 18 February 2008 between the Government of Romania (hereinafter, "GoR") and the EIF (hereinafter, "Funding Agreement"). Relevant rules for implementing Reg. 1083/2006 are set out in the Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1828/2006[3] (hereinafter, "Reg. 1828/2006").

The cooperation between the GoR and the EIF acting through the JHF is governed by the Funding Agreement, which defines the type of cooperation and the operational modalities of the JHF financing expenditure in respect of an operation, as this term is defined in Reg. 1083/2006 (hereinafter, "Operation") comprising contributions to support financial engineering instruments. The EIF acting through the JHF is advised by an Investment Board, the members of which are nominated by the GoR (hereinafter, "Investment Board"). EIF in its capacity acting through the JHF acts on the basis of its usual business principles and an investment strategy and planning for the implementation of the JEREMIE initiative in Romania.

JEREMIE initiative is funded from the SOP IEC; Priority Axis 1 "An innovative and eco-efficient productive system"; Key Area of Intervention 1.2 "Access to finance for SMEs".

This Call for Expression of Interest targets financial engineering instruments referred to in Article 44 of Reg. 1083/2006 and is addressed to bodies or firms, whether public or private, which are interested in receiving resources out of the JHF for the activities in respect of Operations (hereinafter "Financial Intermediaries"). Such activities shall be carried out in accordance with the contractual agreements to be entered into by the JHF and the selected Financial Intermediaries (hereinafter, "Operational Agreement(s)").

The Financial Intermediaries should express their interest by completing and submitting an Expression of Interest, a template of which is attached hereto as Annex 1.
1. Definitions and Interpretation
In this Call for Expression of Interest, capitalised terms and expressions shall have the meaning attributed to them below, unless otherwise defined above or the context requires otherwise: 
Applicant means a Financial Intermediary applying to this Call for Expression of Interest;
Business Day means a day during which EIF Luxembourg office is open, and banks are open for general business in Bucharest and Luxembourg;
Deadline means 19 October 2009;
Eligibility Criteria means the criteria with which the Expressions of Interest and the Applicants must comply and which are listed in Annex 2 hereof;
Expression of Interest means a proposal sent by an Applicant in response to this Call for Expression of Interest, within the Deadline, to be drafted in accordance with the template attached hereto as Annex 1;
Financial Instrument Structured Loan Portfolio Guarantee
JEREMIE means the initiative "Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises" launched by the Commission and EIF, as member of the European Investment Bank Group, in order to promote increased access to finance for the development of SMEs in the European Union;
JHF means the EIF in its capacity acting through the JEREMIE Holding Fund for Romania, appointed under the Funding Agreement;
Operational Agreement means an agreement entered into between a Financial Intermediary and EIF on behalf of the JHF regarding a Financial Instrument on the basis of this Call for Expression of Interest and the selection process;
Quality Assessment Criteria means the quality assessment criteria applied by EIF at the sole discretion of EIF to assess the suitability of the Applicant and/or the proposed Financial Instrument according to the business standards of EIF and which are listed in Annex 2 hereof;
Selection Criteria means the Eligibility Criteria and the Quality Assessment Criteria;
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises or SMEs means micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as defined in the Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC

2.  Holding Fund Manager European Investment Fund 96 Boulevard Konrad Adenauer L-2968 Luxembourg. General internet address of the holding fund manager (URL): www.eif.org Under the Funding Agreement, the European Investment Fund may be substituted in its role as JHF. In the event of such substitution, GoR, or the entity appointed by GoR as new JHF, will assume the full discretion and responsibility to perform the tasks of the JHF and to implement the Operations in Romania, and may take over the Financial Instruments. The Operational Agreements will provide for the possible substitution of the European Investment Fund, in order to allow the transfer of the Operational Agreements to the successor entity. It is envisaged that the Operational Agreements will seek to maintain the position of the relevant Financial Intermediaries, in case of substitution of the JHF, as unchanged as possible, for example by way of a cash collateral or equivalent instruments. 3. Description of the activities expected from the selected Financial Intermediaries The selected Financial Intermediaries will have to implement the Financial Instrument. The Financial Instrument shall either be set up as a separate block of finance within a Financial Intermediary or as an independent legal entity governed by agreements between the co-financing partners or shareholders. As provided by Reg. 1828/2006, a separate block of finance shall be subject to specific implementation rules within the Financial Intermediary, stipulating, in particular, that separate accounts are kept which distinguish the JHF resources invested in the Financial Instrument, including those contributed by the Operational Programme, from those initially available in the Financial Intermediary. It is planned to allocate out of the JHF an amount up to EUR 65 million to the Financial Instrument. See below detailed list of indicative allocation and the relevant Annex setting out the Selection Criteria and the description of the Financial Instrument.

Financial Instrument

Indicative capital allocation (millions EUR)

Applicable Annexes

Structured Loan Portfolio Guarantee

Up to 65

Annex 2 (Financial Instrument: Description and Selection Criteria)


The Financial Intermediaries may express their interest for a contribution up to EUR 25 million allocated by the JHF to the Financial Instrument.  4. Expression of Interest A template for the Expression of Interest is attached hereto as Annex 1, and can also be found at the following address: www.eif.org The Expression of Interest shall include the Applicant's identification, the project description, the supporting documents, the declaration of absence of conflict of interest and the statement regarding situations of exclusion. No later than 20 Business Days before the Deadline, the Applicants may request clarifications regarding the Call for Expression of Interest or the nature of the Financial Instrument. Such requests must indicate the Call for Expression of Interest reference number and the name of the Applicant and shall be submitted in English via e-mail to:  info.rbd@eif.org Regional Business Development Unit European Investment Fund Requests for clarifications from Applicants shall not receive individual replies. Instead, clarifications to all questions received will be published in a document to be posted on EIF website www.eif.org, at least (10) Business Days prior to deadline. EIF will not contact any Applicant prior to the Deadline, unless it considers it necessary to clarify issues of a mere technical nature. However, should EIF discover any errors, inaccuracies, omissions or any other type of clerical defect in the text of the Call for Expression of Interest before the Deadline, EIF will correct the text and inform accordingly. 5. Language The Expressions of Interest, including the submitted documents, shall be in English only. 6. Submission of Expression of Interest The Expressions of Interest shall be submitted on or before the Deadline both by (i) e-mail and (ii) registered mail or professional courier service. The Expressions of Interest sent by registered mail or professional courier service shall consist of a closed single package, and shall contain the Expression of Interest, together with its attachments, in paper form and in removable electronic storage medium (e.g. CD-ROM). The Deadline for the submission of Expressions of Interest is 19 October 2009. The Deadline applies (i) in case of e-mails, to the reception by EIF and (ii) in case of registered mail or professional courier service, to the date of dispatch proven by the post office stamp or a dispatch receipt. The Expressions of Interest shall indicate the reference number of the Call (No. JER-002/1) and the name of the Applicant and shall be sent to the following address: Postal Address: European Investment Fund
Attention: Regional Business Development Unit
96 Boulevard Konrad Adenauer
L-2968 Luxembourg
LUXEMBOURG The outer envelope (package) shall indicate the following:
"Expression of Interest - Reference number of the Call (No. JER-002/1) - Not to be opened by the reception - To be passed without opening to the Regional Business Development Unit". E-mail Address: Attention: Regional Business Development Unit - info.rbd@eif.org Prior to the Deadline and in the same manner as specified above, the Applicants may change or amend their Expressions of Interest by clearly indicating the parts to be changed or amended. Prior to or after the Deadline and in the same manner as specified above, the Applicants may withdraw their Expressions of Interest. After the Deadline, an acknowledgement of receipt will be sent by EIF to the relevant Applicants via e-mail, which shall state the following:

  • Unique proposal identifier (Expression of Interest number);
  • Reference number of the Call for Expression of Interest;
  • Date and time of receipt.
The acknowledgement of receipt shall not be construed as a declaration of completeness of the Expression of Interest and the documents submitted therewith, nor any kind of assessment of the same. 7. Selection process When selecting Financial Intermediaries, EIF is committed to respecting fundamental principles, such as the principles of: i)  equal treatment, ii)  non-discrimination, iii) confidentiality and iv) transparency. The Expressions of Interest will be examined by the EIF using professional analysis and judgment, taking into account the Selection Criteria. The EIF will reject those Expressions of Interest which do not comply with the Eligibility Criteria. A Financial Intermediary, whose application is rejected because of non-compliance with any of the elements reflected in the statement regarding situations of exclusion (Appendix 4 to Annex 1 hereto), may not present itself for consideration in subsequent Calls for the Expression of Interest unless it is specifically evidenced that the reason for the exclusion no longer exists. Applications which are taken into consideration according to the Eligibility Criteria will advance to the EIF selection process based on the Quality Assessment Criteria. The further selection based on the Quality Assessment Criteria, and the due diligence process if any, follows the standard procedures and guidelines applied by EIF to its business. In any phase of the selection process, EIF reserves itself full discretion to consider Financial Intermediaries and no Applicant has any claim or other right or may expect to be ultimately selected for financial support by the JHF.   Similarly, any negotiation of terms and conditions of Operational Agreements by no means entails any obligation for the EIF and/or the JHF to enter into such Operational Agreement with the relevant Financial Intermediaries. Financial Intermediaries which do not receive contributions from the JHF are informed accordingly. Any questions from Financial Intermediaries in relation to the selection process shall be addressed to: Postal Address: European Investment Fund
Attention: EIF Compliance 96 Boulevard Konrad Adenauer
L-2968 Luxembourg
LUXEMBOURG 8. Operational Provisions The Financial Intermediaries, with which Operational Agreements will be eventually signed, shall be required to comply with the EIF anti-fraud policy, available at www.eif.org, and with the relevant monitoring, reporting, publicity and auditing obligations required by the EU regulations applicable to ERDF and by the Funding Agreement. Such obligations are briefly described in the relevant Financial Instrument description documents, and will be mentioned in the relevant Operational Agreement. Annexes: Annex 1.           Expression of Interest Annex 2.           Financial Instrument: Description and Selection Criteria
Notes:
[1]SOP IEC approved by the European Commission Decision C (2007) 3472 of 12 July 2007.

[2]Council Regulation (EC) No. 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No. 1260/1999 (Official Journal of the European Union L210 of 31.07.2006).

[3]Official Journal of the European Union L371 of 27.12.2006.



 
 

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