Coronavirus: €12 million to support Bosnia and Herzegovina’s SMEs
- EIF loan guarantees will help provide loans to SMEs in Bosnia and Herzegovina with better terms and conditions.
- This is the first agreement signed in Bosnia and Herzegovina under the COSME LGF COVID-19 Sub-window.
- EIF guarantees will help SMEs sustain jobs and support faster economic recovery.
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Raiffeisen BANK d.d. Bosna i Hercegovina signed a guarantee agreement allowing the bank to increase its lending capacity to offer €12 million of new financing with better terms and conditions to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The EIF guarantee is provided to Raiffeisen bank under the COSME Loan Guarantee Facility, as part of its COVID-19 economic support package introduced by the European Union to provide working capital to European SMEs for the recovery.
Guarantees from the EIF, part of the EIB Group, will allow micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups affected by the pandemic to benefit from enhanced access to finance. In addition, Raiffeisen bank will be able to extend its current lending and support to a wider range of business clients, even with increased credit risk. This includes start-ups in the country whose restricted lending opportunities due to high credit risk have been even further narrowed by the pandemic.
Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market said: “Small and medium-sized companies are heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic. We reacted very quickly to provide them with immediate liquidity. Thanks to this rapid action, the coronavirus measure under the COSME Loan Guarantee Facility is already available in more than 20 European countries. With today’s agreement SMEs in Bosnia and Hercegovina will benefit from the EU support for recovery as well.”
Alain Godard, Chief Executive of the EIF, said: “Today we have unlocked a new source of working capital loans to SMEs in Bosnia and Herzegovina to support them in maintaining liquidity and business operations and preserving jobs. This is the first transaction in Bosnia and Herzegovina under the COSME LGF COVID-19 Sub-window, and it delivers on our pledge to support the country to recover faster from the pandemic. Creating a more resilient private sector encourages economic stability and growth, which is essential for supporting the country’s overall recovery.”
Karlheinz Dobnigg, Chairman of the Management Board of Raiffeisen bank, said: “We are pleased to see that the cooperation with the European Investment Fund has provided us with relevant instruments through which we will be able to offer better support to small and medium enterprises representing one of the main pillars of an economy’s development. We are aware that this is a challenging time for numerous companies, especially in this segment. We are therefore trying to help them overcome difficulties with liquidity and challenges they face with working capital. We want to be available to our customers at any time and to be theireliable business partner both in good and in difficult times. The cooperation with the EIF is certainly one way of creating a suitable offer for our customers.”
COSME is the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) running from 2014 to 2020 with a total budget of €2.3 billion. At least 60% of the programme is devoted to improving access to finance for SMEs in Europe, with two financial instruments. The COSME Loan Guarantee Facility supports guarantees and counter-guarantees to financial institutions to help them provide more loans and lease finance to SMEs. COSME Equity Facility for Growth helps provide risk capital to SMEs mainly in the expansion and growth stages. Businesses can contact selected financial institutions in their country to access EU financing: http://www.access2finance.eu/
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 by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments that specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment. For more information, see https://www.eif.org
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the European Union’s bank. It is the long-term lending institution of the EU and is the only bank owned by and representing the interests of the European Union Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investments in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. The EIB works closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy. As the world’s largest multilateral borrower and lender by volume, the EIB provides finance and expertise for sound and sustainable investment projects which contribute to furthering EU policy objectives. More than 90% of EIB activity is focused on Europe but the Bank also supports the EU’s external and development policies. www.eib.org
Raiffeisen BANK d.d. Bosna i Hercegovina is a subsidiary of Raiffeisen Bank International AG, one of the leading banks in Central and Eastern Europe and Austria.
It was established in 1992 and is now a leading bank in Bosnia and Herzegovina. More than 1 300 employees serve about 430 000 customers through 100 business outlets. Numerous national and international awards and acknowledgement by internationally recognised magazines such as Global Finance, Euromoney and The Banker attest to our business success. Investment in new technology, experienced staff, the active development of its personnel, its focus on the individual customer approach and implementation of new sales channels and new state-of-the-art products and services are the key competitive advantages of Raiffeisen BANK d.d. Bosna i Hercegovina in the local market.
Besides Raiffeisen BANK, the Raiffeisen Group in Bosnia and Herzegovina comprises Raiffeisen INVEST, Raiffeisen CAPITAL, Raiffeisen LEASING and RL ASSISTANCE.
For more than 130 years, the Raiffeisen Group has been combining financial success with socially responsible business conduct, where corporate, environmental and social responsibility are key, guided by the principles established by Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen: social solidarity, helping people to help themselves, and sustainability. https://raiffeisenbank.ba