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JEREMIE Romania: Call for Expression of Interest to select Financial Intermediaries to implement the First Loss Portfolio Guarantee Instrument

  •  
    Date: 11 August 2010 - 11 October 2010

Romania Logos

Reference number: Call for EoI No. JER-002/3

UPDATE - the deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest by the Financial Intermediaries has been postponed until 11 October 2010

Introduction
The JEREMIE initiative is a framework providing a series of coherent actions to promote increased access to finance for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. The JEREMIE initiative in Romania is organised through the 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” for the period 2007-2013 (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 of the Council Regulation (EC) No. 1083/2006  (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 EIF (hereinafter, “Funding Agreement”). Relevant rules for implementing Reg. 1083/2006 are set out in the Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1828/2006  (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.

The 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 Romania and Luxembourg;
  • Deadline means  06 October 2010 ;
  • Eligibility Criteria :  means the criteria with which the Expressions of Interest and the Applicants must comply with and which are listed in Annex 2
  • 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;
  • JEREMIE : means the initiative “Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises” launched by the European 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;
  • EIB Group :   The EIB Group consists of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF);
  • 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 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 European Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC.

2.  JEREMIE Holding Fund
European Investment Fund, 96 Boulevard Konrad Adenauer, L-2968 Luxembourg.

Under the Funding Agreement, the EIF, which is appointed until the end of 2015, 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 EIF, in order to allow the transfer of the Operational Agreements to the successor entity.

3.    Description of the activities expected from the selected Financial Intermediaries

The selected Financial Intermediaries will have to implement a financial engineering instrument briefly described in the table below (hereinafter, “Financial Instrument”). A Financial Instrument shall either be set up as an independent legal entity governed by agreements between the co-financing partners or shareholders or as a separate block of finance within a Financial Intermediary. 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 63 million to the Financial Instrument.

See below 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 (million EUR)   Applicable Annexes
First Loss Portfolio Guarantee on a portfolio of loans to SMEs Up to 63 million EUR Annex 2 (Financial Instrument: Description and Selection Criteria)

           

The indicative capital allocated to the Financial Instrument, as well as the amounts available for contribution by the JHF to the selected Financial Intermediary, may be changed as necessary, particularly if the funding available changes during the JHF implementation process or the demand for the Financial Instrument so requires.

To be noted that joint ventures and/or consortiums can express their interest as long as they indicate/nominate one coordinating entity as a contractual counterpart for the EIF for the entire term of the Operational Agreement (in case of selection). Such Applicants are required to submit one, joint Expression of Interest.

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 internet address: www.eif.org.  

The Expression of Interest includes the Applicant’s identification, the project description, the supporting documents, the declaration of absence of conflict of interest and the statements regarding situations of exclusion.

Until no later than 08 September 2010, 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 email to: Regional Business Development Unit, European Investment Fund, info.rbd@eif.org

Requests for clarifications from Applicants shall not receive individual replies. Instead, answers to all requests for clarifications received within the relevant deadline will be published together in a clarification document to be posted on the website at http://www.eif.org/calls_for_expression_of_interest/index.htm

EIF will, in principle, 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.

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 06 October 2010.

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-002/3) 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

The outer envelope (package) shall indicate the following:


“Expression of Interest - Reference number of the Call (No. JER-002/3) – Not to be opened by the reception – To be passed without opening to 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 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 to the relevant Applicants by EIF via e-mail, which shall state the following:

  • Unique proposal identifier (Expression of Interest number);
  • Reference number of the Call for Expression of Interest;
  • Confirmation that the Expression of Interest was received before the Deadline.
  • 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 respect fundamental principles, such as:
i)   equal treatment,
ii)   non-discrimination,
iii)  confidentiality, and
iv)  transparency.

The Expressions of Interest will be examined by the EIF, on a comparative basis, 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. Financial Intermediaries, whose application is rejected because of non-compliance with any of the elements reflected in the statements regarding situations of exclusion (Appendices 4 and 5 to Annex 1 hereto), may not present themselves for consideration in subsequent Calls for the Expression of Interest unless it is specifically evidenced that the reason for the exclusion no longer exists.

The expiration of the Deadline shall not prevent EIF, in limited cases if deemed necessary, from requesting and receiving from Applicants clarifications on issues of a mere technical or formal nature, provided that such clarifications shall neither provide an opportunity to the respective Applicants to unduly improve their applications nor otherwise distort the competition between the Applicants.

Applicants which are not excluded according to the Eligibility Criteria will go through 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. The evaluation of proposals at this phase will be conducted under competitive terms and it is envisaged to select one or more Applicants.

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. 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; the reasons for their Expression of Interest being rejected will be clearly communicated to them upon request.

Those Applicants, whose Expression of Interest is rejected, shall have the right to submit a written complaint by e-mail and registered mail or professional courier service, to the same address used for the submission of the Expressions of Interest above, within thirty (30) days of receipt of the letter of rejection. Any complaints will be dealt within the framework and in accordance with the EIB Group complaints policy.

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, 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 defined in the relevant Operational Agreement.

Download here :

The full text of the Call for expression of interest (.pdf, 227 kb)
Clarification (.pdf)
Annex 1. (.pdf, 191 kb); Word Format (.doc 265kb)
Annex 2.    First Loss Portfolio Guarantee Financial Instrument: Description and Selection Criteria (.pdf, 108 kb)


 
 

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