CEB and CIBANK to provide credit line of € 35 million for SMEs

2 July 2015

CEB and CIBANK to provide credit line of € 35 million for SMEsSOFIA - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) and CIBANK signed a framework loan agreement to finance small and medium-sized enterprises for the amount of € 35 million. This is the first agreement between the two institutions.

CIBANK’s application for the credit line was approved by the Administrative Council of the CEB in 2014 with the support of the Bulgarian government. The funds will be used to finance investment projects and working capital loans for SMEs in almost all sectors of the economy for the purpose of creating more jobs and developing small and medium-sized businesses in Bulgaria.

The CEB will grant up to 50% of the funds needed for implementing projects, while CIBANK will provide the additional funding through its own resources and/ or resources of other financial institutions - partners of the bank. The loans will enable businesses to take advantage of preferential conditions, and for added convenience they will have the option to combine their loan with guarantee instruments.

The new credit line from the CEB for financing small and medium-sized enterprises is another step in CIBANK’s expansion of activity in this market segment. In 2014, the bank successfully completed the utilisation of its fourth SME credit line of € 50 million, granted by the European Investment Bank (EIB). Combining different financing mechanisms to improve the conditions of lending to SMEs is a clear priority for CIBANK.

The CEB has been actively promoting job creation through lending to SMEs. In its Development Plan 2014-2016, which was unanimously approved by its Governing Board, the CEB made supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises a standalone sectoral line of action. In the past twenty years, the CEB has approved close to € 10 billion for SME financing. 

Signing on behalf of the CEB was Governor Rolf Wenzel, who commented: “The agreement we are signing today is testament to the importance that the CEB attaches to making financing available to SMEs. Supporting small and medium-sized enterprises is crucial when it comes to promoting job creation and preservation, which is essential to economic growth. This is what Europe needs today.”

Peter Andronov, CEO of CIBANK and Country Manager of KBC for Bulgaria, commented: “The partnership with CEB is very important for CIBANK in our ambitions to use and combine different financial instruments for supporting SME development and growth in Bulgaria. I hope that this credit line will add value to our potential business client and that at the end of the day we will have realised qualitative business projects.” 

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