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EIF and Raiffeisenbank to provide up to €150 million for SMEs in Bulgaria

    Date: 10 January 2022
  • Guarantee agreement extended to support COVID-19 recovery of Bulgarian SMEs
  • Raiffeisenbank will provide loans with more favourable conditions, backed by EIF guarantee supported under the European Guarantee Fund (EGF)
  • The EGF is backed by Bulgaria and other EU Member States and is part of the €540 billion EU rescue package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria EAD have signed an additional guarantee agreement in support of Bulgarian companies, and extended the period in which they can apply for COVID-related funding until 31 December 2022. The transaction will guarantee a portfolio of €150 million in new financing, and is made possible under the European Guarantee Fund. It follows two earlier agreements signed between the EIF and Raiffeisenbank since the start of the pandemic.

The guarantee agreement enables Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria to continue to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-caps in Bulgaria. So far, the guarantees backed by the European Guarantee Fund (EGF) with Raiffeisenbank are expected to unlock up to €300 million in SME and Mid-Cap financing. The transactions benefit from support by the EGF, implemented by the European Investment Fund with the financial backing of the contributing Member States.

Under the agreements, companies will be able to access financing for investment loans up to ten years, working capital loans up to five years and revolving loans and overdrafts up to four - five years depending on the applicable State Aid Regime.

Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria and the EIF have significantly strengthen their cooperation in recent years. So far the cooperation resulted in over €1.1 billion of financial agreements, including over €560 million to support Bulgarian SMEs facing the negative economic effects since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roger Havenith, Deputy Chief Executive of the EIF, said: “Businesses across Europe continue to deal with the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The EIF’s reinforced partnership with Raiffeisenbank under the European Guarantee Fund, will provide much needed financing for Bulgarian companies to bridge their financing needs. I want to thank Raiffeisenbank for the excellent cooperation.”

EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova commented: “Supporting SMEs with more accessible financing during the COVID-19 pandemic is key to the economic recovery and prosperity of Bulgaria. Under the European Guarantee Fund, the EIB Group has approved 12 operations so far which are expected to mobilise more than €2.1 billion in investments in the Bulgarian economy. I am delighted that with our partner Raiffeisenbank, we are today announcing another milestone in our cooperation.”

Dobromir Dobrev, Deputy CEO of Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) said: “Thanks to our excellent cooperation with the EIF, to date we have supported 7 600 projects of Bulgarian small and medium-sized companies with more than €680 million. Now, we will extend our support for SMEs and Small Mid-caps at a crucial time for the Bulgarian Business to overcome the consequences of COVID-19 pandemic.”

Background information:

The European Guarantee Fund (EGF) was set up by Bulgaria and other EU Member States to shield companies suffering from 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  €540 billion in total to boost the healthcare sector and the other parts of the EU economy that have been hit the worst.

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, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.

Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) was established in 1994 and is the first green-field investment in the Bulgarian banking sector. Raiffeisenbank is a fully consolidated subsidiary of Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) AG. RBI regards Austria, where it is a leading corporate and investment bank, as well as Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as its home market. 13 markets in the region are covered by subsidiary banks. Around 46 000 employees serve 16.8 million customers through approximately 2 000 branches, the vast majority of which are based in CEE.

Press contacts:

EIB Group: Bruno Hoyer, b.hoyer@eib.org, tel.: +352 43 79 83045 / Mobile: +352 621 886 056

Website: www.eib.org/press - Press Office: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org

Follow us on Twitter @eif_eu 

Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD: Bojidar Gyurov, bojidar.gyurov@raiffeisen.bg, press.pr@raiffeisen.bg, tel.: +359 2 91985 535 


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