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EIF and UniCredit to provide €1 billion for SMEs in Bulgaria, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia

Christian Fernsby |
The European Investment Fund (EIF) will provide €700 million in guarantees to UniCredit, allowing the lender to provide up to €1 billion of financing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Bulgaria, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia to accelerate the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The EIF guarantees stem from the European Guarantee Fund (EGF), a €25 billion guarantee facility set up by the EIB Group in 2020 to boost the post-COVID-19 recovery of the European economy, safeguard jobs, and provide much needed liquidity to European SMEs.

The breakdown of the guarantee agreement is as follows: In Bulgaria (up to €185m), Slovakia (up to €310m), Slovenia (up to €80m) and Croatia (up to €325m). The remaining portfolio volume will be allocated across the four countries in accordance with the observed demand.

The UniCredit Group members in the above four countries, including banks and leasing institutions, will offer loans and other financial products to SMEs under more favourable terms including reduced interest rates, longer grace periods, lower collateral requirements or extended maturities.

The loans will be available to SMEs operating in the sectors of economy hardest hit by the pandemic and accelerate the recovery of national economies.

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