The EIB and Česká spořitelna a.s. (CSAS) have signed an agreement to provide EUR 100 million worth of financing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Czech-Republic. This agreement was made possible by the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EFSI is the central pillar of the European Commission's Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called "Juncker Plan".
Today's transaction is expected to allow CSAS to offer additional financing worth EUR 100 million on more favourable terms to SMEs and midcaps in the Czech Republic.
European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "The Investment Plan is working to empower SMEs across Europe to take their next steps. I am delighted that today's agreement will facilitate innovation, expansion and job-creation by small businesses in the Czech Republic. I wish those SMEs who will benefit from today's transaction every success in the future.
“This is the first EIB risk sharing operation supported by the EFSI not only in the Czech Republic but in the whole region of central and eastern Europe. Its objective is to increase the lending capacity to support projects related to higher risk in key areas as climate action, energy efficiency and RDI that otherwise would have a difficult access to long term financing”, commented Vazil Hudak, the EIB Vice President responsible for operations in the Czech Republic.
The EIB has a well-established and successful relationship with CSAS, dating back to 2002. The EIB has already provided CSAS with eleven loans and guarantees exceeding EUR 1.1bn to allow them to provide long-term loans on favourable terms to SMEs and midcap companies with in the Czech Republic. The EFSI is already expected to trigger around EUR 1.9 billion in the Czech Republic, as of January 2017.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
The European Commission's Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called Juncker Plan, is one of President Jean-Claude Juncker's top priorities. It focuses on boosting European investments to create jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), dubbed the Juncker Fund, is the central pillar of the Investment Plan. It provides a first loss guarantee, allowing the EIB to invest in more, often riskier, projects. The EFSI is already showing concrete results. The projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI so far are expected to mobilise nearly EUR 169 billion in total investments and support over 387,000 SMEs across all 28 Member States. In September 2016, President Juncker proposed to extend the EFSI by increasing its firepower and duration as well as reinforcing its strengths. You can find the latest EFSI figures by sector and by country here.
Enda McNamara (Brussels), email@example.com Tel.: + 32 (0)2 29 64 976