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European Guarantee Fund: Danish bank receives guarantees for DKK 149m in new lending to support growth of sustainable and socially responsible business and institutions

    Date: 16 August 2021
  • Danish Merkur Cooperative Bank will receive an EIF-guarantee backing up to DKK 149 million (€20 million) in new lending to Danish SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), made possible by the European Guarantee Fund (EGF).
  • This guarantee will allow Merkur to support appr. 200 Danish companies in the aftermath of the corona crisis, allowing them to benefit from EU crisis funds.
  • The EGF is part of the EU’s € 540 billion COVID-response package agreed last year.

Danish cooperative bank Merkur Andelskasse has signed a guarantee agreement with the European Investment Fund (EIF). The new agreement, which falls under the “European Guarantee Fund”, ensures that Danish SMEs will be able to benefit from up to DKK 148,76 million (€20 million) in new lending on more favourable terms. Merkur will provide new, more favourable, debt financing to these Danish SMEs ensuring that they have sufficient financing available to mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and are able to continue their growth and development in the medium to long-term.

The guarantee backed loans can be used for investments in i.a. new or existing buildings, energy retrofit and climate mitigation, equipment and machinery, but also working capital.

Charlotte Skovgaard, CEO of Merkur Andelskasse: “We are proud to be selected as one of the Danish financial institutions that can provide financing partly guaranteed from the European Guarantee Fund. For many small and mid-sized companies and institutions, regardless whether they are directly impacted by the corona crisis or not, the general post-corona situation on the markets and in society create a number of uncertainties which this guarantee scheme will help to overcome. We are looking forward to help existing and new customers with their investments for the future, and with Merkur’s emphasis on sustainability and social responsibility we will of course make extra efforts to ensure investments are climate friendly, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible”.

Although we start to see the end of the healthcare emergency in most of the EU, the economic consequences are far from over.” said EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard. “The European Guarantee Fund is a fantastic instrument which allows the EIB and EIF to make available the necessary funding for European companies that are in principle healthy, but struggle with the current conditions. Our guarantee supports Merkur in making available financing under favourable conditions, helping SMEs on their way out of the crisis.”

The European Guarantee Fund was founded by the European Investment Bank Group (comprising the EIB and the EIF) and EU Member States to ensure that SMEs with sustainable business plans are provided liquidity to overcome COVID-19 related adversities, and that healthy business are supported to grow.

Background Information:

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.

The European Guarantee Fund (EGF) was set up by the EIB Group with contributions from Denmark and other EU Member States to shield companies suffering from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis. Using nearly €25 billion in guarantees, the EGF allows the EIB and the EIF to quickly make loans, guarantees, asset-backed securities, equity and other financial instruments available to mostly small and medium-sized enterprises. The EGF is part of the European Union’s recovery package aiming to provide a total of €540 billion boost those parts of the EU economy that have been hit the worst. Up to the end of May, over €10,5 billion worth of projects under the EGF had been approved, expected to mobilise around €89,5 billion of the €200 billion financing target.

Merkur Cooperative Bank has been a forerunner of sustainable development and social responsibility in the Danish banking sector since 1982. Merkur gives and facilitates financial advice and financing to both personal and business customers, including arranging mortgages and providing sustainable investment products. On the business side, Merkur finances profit making enterprises within sustainable production and not-for-profit institutions and associations within educational, cultural and social fields.

Press contacts:

EIB Group:Tim Smit, Tel: +352 691 28 64 23, t.smit@eib.org, Follow us on Twitter@eif_eu
Website: www.eif.org - Press Office: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org

Merkur Andelskasse: Mette Offenberg, +45 62656735, meo@merkur.dk

Website: www.merkur.dk

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