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EUR 90 million of financing for smaller companies in Kosovo

    Date: 16 May 2019
  • The first transaction in Kosovo under the COSME Loan Guarantee Facility, the EU’s programme supporting the SMEs’ access to finance
  • The programme would be able to reach out more than 2,200 SMEs in Kosovo
  • Mainly micro and small businesses will be supported with COSME guaranteed loans up to EUR 150,000

The European Investment Fund, part of the EIB Group, signed a counter-guarantee agreement with the Kosovo Credit Guarantee Fund (KCGF) under COSME – EU’s programme supporting the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This is the first transaction in Kosovo under this EU financial instrument, which enhances the SMEs’ access to finance.

The programme will be implemented by the Kosovo Credit Guarantee Fund and it will strengthen its capacity to support more risky SMEs in Kosovo. Thanks to the COSME counter-guarantee, the supported SME debt financing volume is expected to reach EUR 90 million over a period of two years. KCGF already cooperates with the majority of the banks on the local market and COSME would be able to reach out more than 2,200 SMEs in the entire territory of Kosovo. The maximum principal amount of the COSME supported debt financing would be EUR 150,000 targeting mainly micro and small businesses.

The transaction was announced by Alessandro Tappi, EIF’s Chief Investment Officer and Besnik Berisha, Managing Director of KCGF, in Pristina, on the occasion of the third anniversary of KCGF. The ceremony was held in the presence of Kosovo’s Minister of Finance Bedri Hamza and the Deputy Head of the EU Office in Kosovo Riccardo Serri.

Alessandro Tappi, EIF’s Chief Investment Officer said: “We are pleased to be signing this counter-guarantee agreement with the Kosovo Credit Guarantee Fund. By entering into this guarantee to support financing for SMEs, EIF helps development in Kosovo, fostering job creation and growth of local economy. But more importantly, this is direct help to the local start ups and small businesses and enterprises which now have new chances.”

EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska pointed: “The European Commission is committed to helping small companies thrive. COSME loan guarantees already provide over EUR 22 billion of financing to more than 410,000 European SMEs in 27 countries. I’m very happy that this agreement will allow more than 2000 SMEs in Kosovo to benefit from better access to EU finance to create jobs and growth.

Managing Director of KCGF Besnik Berisha said:  “We are very happy to conclude the agreement with the EU programme for the competitiveness of SMEs – COSME, on the third anniversary of the institution. Three years after its establishment the institution marks this important partnership, which is another milestone on its development path. The COSME Program will provide counter guarantee facility for KCGF ‘s guarantee portfolio in volume up to EUR 45 million, while in the real economy this amount will result on EUR 90 million additional new investments. Moreover, the program will enable the KCGF to increase its guarantee capacity, improve terms and conditions of our guarantee scheme, and what is most important increase the confidence of the banking sector in our services. By doing so, we believe that this partnership will have direct impact on development of the private sector in Kosovo”.


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/.

European Investment Fund

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.

Kosovo Credit Guarantee Fund

The Kosovo Credit Guarantee Fund (KCGF) is an independent autonomous public legal entity incorporated in Kosovo established in 2016 in order to enhance the SMEs' access to finance in Kosovo through its guarantee products. KCGF was founded as a joint initiative of KfW, USAID and the Kosovar Ministry of Trade and Industry, which jointly contributed a total of EUR 16m to form its capital base.

Press contact:

European Commission:
Tel.: + 32 (0)2 29 55040
E-Mail: victoria.von-hammerstein-gesmold@ec.europa.eu

Marco Santarelli
Tel.: +39 06-4719426 / Mob: +39 331 65 95 594

Milica Kulić,
www.eib.org/press -
Tel: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org


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