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CEB supports small businesses in Poland, the Slovak Republic and Turkey through loans totalling €350 million

4 October 2017

PARIS – The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) is continuing to support job creation through the provision of financing to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in its member countries. Newly approved CEB loans to Poland, the Slovak Republic and Turkey in this sector amount to €350 million.

Recognising the importance of MSMEs for social development and economic growth, the CEB has made the provision of financing for small businesses a priority area of operation. Inadequate access to financing for their productive investments is a major barrier to the development of MSMEs. With unemployment rates remaining stubbornly high in many European countries, support to small businesses and entrepreneurs is beneficial to creating employment, boosting economic growth and strengthening social cohesion.

Through three separate loan agreements, the CEB aims to unblock financing for MSMEs in Poland, the Slovak Republic and Turkey.

In Poland, the CEB is lending €100 million to leading leasing company Europejski Fundusz Leasingowy (EFL) in order to meet the needs of small businesses with a limited borrowing capacity. An estimated 1,200 MSMEs will benefit from this loan through leases for the purchase of vehicles, machinery, equipment and facilities, and 1,600 new jobs expected to be created through this operation. The Bank has a successful, long-standing cooperation with EFL, which has benefited from five CEB loans since 2004 worth a total of almost €500 million.

In the Slovak Republic, the CEB is lending €100 million to UniCredit Leasing Slovakia in order to finance the productive investments of MSMEs throughout the country. The loan will also support social projects aimed at the revitalisation and modernisation of public infrastructure, particularly public transport, thus improving the living conditions of the population. Since 2012 the CEB has approved 19 similar programmes in the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic and other countries, in the amount of €1.2 billion.

In Turkey, MSMEs play a major role in the economy and yet operate with limited capital and receive only a small share of the funds made available by the banking sector. To support MSMEs, particularly exporting businesses, and boost their productivity, competitiveness and export growth, the CEB is providing a €150 million loan to Türk Eximbank. The funds will finance the purchase of fixed asset investments such as machinery and equipment and will also be used to support the businesses’ working capital requirements.

Commenting on these loans, Governor Wenzel said: “We at the CEB are aware of the crucial role that MSMEs play not only in the economy but also in terms of strengthening social cohesion. Giving smaller businesses the chance to develop and thrive and encouraging entrepreneurship is a sure way of creating employment and contributing to economic growth. This is why the CEB is particularly active in the MSME financing sector. I am delighted that with these three newly approved loans we are making a further step in promoting job creation and preservation in our member countries.”

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AA+ with Standard & Poor's, outlook positive and AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.

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