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Over EUR 250 million of loans for SMEs and students following EIF and QNB Finansbank guarantee agreements

    Date: 06 December 2016

The European Investment Fund (EIF) has selected QNB Finansbank as its lending partner for loans to master students through the Erasmus+ guarantees programme, and to SMEs via the EU’s COSME programme in Turkey.

The new COSME agreement will allow QNB Finansbank to provide TRY 750 million (ca. EUR 228 million) of loans to over 37,000 small businesses in Turkey over three years. EIF will provide Finansbank with a guarantee under the COSME programme backed by the European Commission. This will allow the bank to significantly increase volumes of investment and working capital loans without hard collateral to small start-up companies in Turkey.

The Erasmus+ agreement will support TRY 100 million (ca. EUR 31 million) of loans to mobile students undertaking their full master degree (1 or 2 years) in one of the 32 other Erasmus+ Programme Countries. The student loans will be provided at favourable conditions without requiring any collateral or third party guarantee, as a result of the EU support and is expected to benefit more than 2,000 master students. The agreement between the EIF and QNB Finansbank is the first of its kind in Turkey and the fifth in total signed under the Erasmus+ student loan guarantee facility, funded by the European Union and managed by EIF.

EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “Giving students the opportunity to move abroad for educational purposes broadens horizons and encourages entrepreneurial ambition. By signing both Erasmus+ and COSME guarantee agreements with QNB Finansbank, EIF can play a role in creating jobs via SMEs, whilst providing studying opportunities abroad for future entrepreneurs”.

QNB Finansbank Chairman, Ömer Aras said: "We are honoured that the European Investment Fund preferred QNB Finansbank as its lending partner in Turkey for its two major programs intended for supporting SMEs and education, counting on competence of our bank. Supporting human resources and entrepreneurship is an investment in future, for the first time in Turkey, we will be offering Erasmus+ loan to students of all ages who wish to earn a master's degree at European universities.  And with COSME we will contribute to the growth of SMEs, we believe these programmes for students and SMEs will help strengthen the backbone of our economy."

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 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.


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 2.3 billion. At least 60% of the programme will be devoted to easing access to finance for SMEs in Europe, with two financial instruments. 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 almost EUR 21 billion of loans and more than EUR 3 billion of venture capital to over 384,000 SMEs in Europe. Businesses can contact selected financial institutions in their country to access EU financing: http://www.access2finance.eu 

About Erasmus + Master Loans

The Erasmus+ programme, of which the Erasmus+ Master Student Loan Guarantee Facility is part, is the biggest mover of students in the EU, with over 300,000 higher education students and staff studying, working or undertaking a traineeship in another European country every year. It is managed by the European Commission's Directorate General for Education and Culture (DG EAC) and its executive agency. Thanks to EU support, the Erasmus+ guarantee scheme allows EIF to provide capped guarantees and counter-guarantees to financial intermediaries which in turn grant loans to students who will move to undertake a master's degree in another country taking part in the Erasmus+ programme. Erasmus+ Master Loans are currently available to mobile Master students in all 33 Erasmus+ Programme Countries through Financial Intermediaries in Spain, France, UK and now also in Turkey. Master's students who are interested in obtaining finance can get further information at: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/opportunities-for-individuals/students/erasmus-plus-master-degree-loans_en.

About QNB Finansbank

Established in 1987 and acquired by Qatar National Bank in June 2016 QNB Finansbank is the 5th largest privately owned bank in Turkey today. It operates with its network of more than 600 branches, and over 12,000 employees, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates QNB Finansbank offers a wide range financial products and services to its customers.

Press contacts:

EIF: David Yormesor
Tel.: +352 42 66 88 346, e-mail: d.yormesor@eif.org

QNB Finansbank: Didem Argüden
Tel.: +90 212 318 565, e-mail: didem.arguden@qnbfinansbank.com

European Commission: Mirna Talko
Tel.:+32 229-87278, e-Mail: mirna.talko@ec.europa.eu


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