Agreement between EIB, UniCredit Bulbank to Unlock Nearly EUR 200 Mln for COVID-affected Businesses
Sofia, October 15 (BTA) - The European Investment Bank (EIB) and UniCredit Bulbank Bulgaria Friday signed a guarantee agreement of 60 million euro that is expected to unlock new loans of nearly 200 million euro to support Bulgarian businesses suffering from the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, UniCredit Bulbank said.
The operation is backed by the European Guarantee Fund and enables UniCredit Bulbank to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), mid-caps and large corporates by providing affordable loans to finance working capital, additional liquidity needs or ongoing and new investments and expansion plans. The funds will be available to companies across Bulgaria operating in sectors in line with the EIB's mission and objectives, including innovation, environment and support for SMEs.
EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova commented that SMEs are the backbone of the Bulgarian economy, therefore supporting them with more accessible and flexible financing during the COVID-19 pandemic is key to protecting jobs and boosting economic growth and prosperity. Under the European Guarantee Fund, the EIB Group has thus far approved ten operations which are expected to mobilise more than 1.1 billion euro in investments in the Bulgarian economy, she noted.
UniCredit Bulbank CEO Tzvetanka Mincheva commented that the guarantee agreement with the EIB will allow her bank to offer its clients a new instrument supporting their investment plans, thus supporting the economy as a whole.
According to UniCredit Bulbank's experts, the Bulgarian economy is recovering and is forecast to finish 2021 with a GDP growth of over 4 per cent.