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EIF provides €56 million in guarantees to SZRB to help Slovak SMEs to recover from the effects of COVID-19

    Date: 08 March 2022
  • The EIF will provide €56 million in guarantees to SZRB, unlocking €80 million of more affordable financing for local SMEs.
  • The operation is benefiting from the European Guarantee Fund (EGF), established by the EIB Group in May 2020 as a part of its immediate response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • This is the fourth EGF operation in the country for the EIB Group and the third for the EIF; the EIB Group has provided €513 million in EGF guarantees in Slovakia.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) — part of the European Investment Bank Group — will provide €56 million in guarantees to Slovenská záručná a rozvojová banka (SZRB) to help Slovak small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic more quickly.

The guarantees from the EIF will enable SZRB to create a new source of more affordable financing and ensure Slovak SMEs have sufficient financing available to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis and continue their growth and development. Companies will be able to finance their working capital, additional liquidity needs or ongoing and new investments and expansion plans.

The operation stems from the European Guarantee Fund (EGF) set up by the EIB Group in May 2020 to mobilise up to €200 billion in support of businesses in the European Union, help their recovery from the pandemic, and boost employment and economic growth.

EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard said: “With this operation the EIF is making yet another concrete, tangible and multi-million-euro contribution to the faster recovery of the Slovak economy from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The guarantees granted to SZRB will unlock a new source of more affordable financing for Slovak SMEs, and fuel employment and economic and social development in Slovakia. The EIB Group set up the EGF to accelerate the recovery of the European economy from COVID-19 and I am very glad that the EIF is contributing to its success. I would like to thank our partners at SZRB for the opportunity to fuel a sustainable, green and prosperous future for Slovakia.”

Igor Matovič, Minister of Finance of the Slovak Republic, said: "I am glad that yet another product will be available to Slovak companies, and proves the usefulness of the European Guarantee Fund. We contributed to the Fund still to address the economic impacts and recovery from the pandemic. Now we expect the loans supported from the Fund to be even more impactful, with the sad goings in our close neighbourhood."

CEO and the Chairman of the Board of SZRB Peter David said: “The guarantee line from the EIF will enable SZRB to flexibly provide financing to Slovak micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises. The purpose is to migitage the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Slovak SMEs and enable their faster recovery. These companies could be able to obtain affordable funding for working capital purposes, expansions, refinancings or investments. As SME companies provide three-quarters of jobs in the country, SZRB, as a state-owned bank, in this way contributes to the employment enhancement. The rolling out of the loan programme under the guarantees from the EIF is a further step of the new management of SZRB on the strategic road of transformation and growth for the bank. The aim is to reshape SZRB into a modern and efficient state-owned bank supporting the Slovak SME sector and as a result, the domestic economy as a whole.”

The operation with SZRB is the fourth EGF operation in the Republic of Slovakia for the EIB Group, and the third for the European Investment Fund in the country. To date, the EIB Group has provided €513 million in EGF guarantees — €413 million from the EIF and €100 million from the EIB.

Background information:

About the 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. The 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.

The European Guarantee Fund was created by the EIB Group (EIB and EIF) with contributions from Slovakia and 22 EU Member States to protect businesses that are struggling in the crisis caused by COVID-19. With almost €25 billion in guarantees, the EGF allows the EIB and EIF to swiftly offer companies, mostly SMEs and mid-caps, access to loans, guarantees, asset-backed securities, capital and other financial instruments. The EGF is part of the European Union’s recovery package aiming to provide a total of €540 billion to boost those parts of the EU economy that have been hit the worst.

About SZRB:

Slovenská záručná a rozvojová banka, a.s. (SZRB) was established as a state-owned financial institution in 1991, and became a joint-stock company in 2002. The only shareholder is the state, which exercises its shareholder rights through the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic. The bank is focused mainly on the development of small and medium-sized companies in Slovakia.

Press contacts:

Tibor Jona, t.jona@eib.org, tel.: +352 691 287 052

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

Jana Škripková, jana.skripkova@szrb.sk, tel.: +421 2 57 292 240

Website: www.szrb.sk


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