Bulgaria: EIB and UniCredit Bulbank to provide nearly €200 million to businesses

(Source: European Investment Bank)

  • Support for small and medium enterprises, mid-caps and large corporates affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • UniCredit Bulbank will provide loans with more favourable conditions
  • The operation is backed by the European Guarantee Fund (EGF), part of the European Union’s €540 billion COVID-19 response package agreed last year

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and UniCredit Bulbank Bulgaria today signed a guarantee agreement of €60 million that is expected to unlock new loans of nearly €200 million to support Bulgarian businesses suffering from the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The operation is backed by the European Guarantee Fund and enables UniCredit Bulbank Bulgaria to support small and medium enterprises, 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 financing will be available to companies across Bulgaria operating in sectors in line with the EIB’s mission and objectives, including innovation, the environment and support for small and medium-sized businesses.

EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova commented: “SMEs are the backbone of our economy. That is why 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 approved ten operations so far which are expected to mobilise more than €1.1 billion in investments in the Bulgarian economy. I am delighted that with our longstanding partner UniCredit Bulbank, we are today announcing this operation which will contribute to the economic recovery and employment prospects across Bulgaria.”

CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of UniCredit Bulbank Tsvetanka Mintcheva added: “UniCredit Bulbank is a traditional partner of the business with its number one position in corporate banking. According to our experts, the economy is recovering and the forecast is that Bulgaria will end 2021 with more than a 4% increase of GDP. As a bank, we will do our best to support the recovery and be part of the solution. With the agreement that we are signing today, we will be able to offer our clients a new powerful tool to support them in their investment plans and thus support the economy as a whole”.

Background information

The European Guarantee Fund (EGF) was set up by the EIB Group with contributions from Bulgaria and other EU Member States to shield companies suffering from the COVID-19 crisis. Using nearly €25 billion in guarantees, the EGF enables the EIB and the European Investment Fund (EIF) to quickly make loans, guarantees, asset-backed securities, equity and other financial instruments available, mostly to small and medium-sized enterprises. 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.

UniCredit is a successful pan-European commercial bank with a fully plugged-in corporate and investment banking (CIB) arm, delivering a unique Western, Central and Eastern Europe network to its extensive and growing client franchise.

UniCredit offers both local and international expertise to its clients, providing them with unparalleled access to leading banks in its 13 core markets through its European banking network: Italy, Germany, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia. Leveraging on an international network of representative offices and branches, UniCredit serves clients in another 16 countries worldwide.

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