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EIF and CKB sign first COSME agreement in Montenegro to benefit SMEs

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    Date: 13 November 2015
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Crnogorska Komercijalna Banka (CKB), have signed the first loan guarantee agreement in Montenegro under the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME).

The COSME agreement allows CKB to provide EUR 30 million of loans to SMEs in Montenegro over the next three years. The loans are provided without any hard collateral as a result of a guarantee from EIF under the COSME programme, with financial backing from the European Commission. It is expected that the agreement allow CKB to support additional financing at favourable conditions to over 600 SMEs.

About the 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. EIF’s total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 8.8 bn at end 2014. With investments in over 500 funds, EIF is a leading player in European venture due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in high-tech and early-stage segments. EIF’s guarantees loan portfolio totalled over EUR 5.6 bn in over 350 operations at end 2014, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.

About CKB

CKB is a Montenegrin joint-stock company, owned 100% by OTP Bank Hungary. The Bank was established in 1997 as a greenfield operation by 28 SMEs to serve their own financial needs. CKB was growing organically to become the leading commercial bank in Montenegro when OTP Bank Hungary became the sole shareholder of CKB in 2006. CKB provides six standard loan products to its SME customers: SME overdraft, SME working capital loan, SME investment loan, SME mortgage loan, SME Micro Business loan and SME Guarantees.

SMEs wishing to apply for finance under the COSME programme can directly contact CKB at the following website: http://www.ckb.me

About COSME

COSME is the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) running from 2014 to 2020. With a total budget of EUR 2.3bn, COSME mobilises loans and equity investments to SMEs in Europe. The COSME Loan Guarantee Facility supports guarantees and counter-guarantees to financial institutions to help them provide more loans and lease finance to SMEs. This facility also includes securitisation of SME debt finance portfolios. The COSME programme also invests through the COSME Equity Facility for Growth in equity funds that provide risk capital to SMEs mainly in the expansion and growth stages. The COSME programme builds on the success of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) (2007-2013) which helped to mobilise more than EUR 18 bn of loans and EUR 3 bn of venture capital to over 350,000 SMEs in Europe.

Businesses can contact selected financial institutions in their country to access EU financing: www.access2finance.eu

Press contacts:

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

CKB: Ivan Rakočević,

Tel.: +382 20 404 370, e-mail: Ivan.Rakocevic@ckb.me, website: http://www.ckb.me

 

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