The European Investment Fund (EIF) and RCB Bank on Friday signed the first European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) agreement in Cyprus, which will provide €10m to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Under the new agreement, RCB will provide attractive loans to innovative SMEs and mid-caps over the next two years. The EFSI is now active in all EU 28 Member States.
EIF’s guarantee is provided under the EU InnovFin Finance for Innovators initiative, backed by Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme.
“With today’s agreement, the Investment Plan for Europe has reached another significant milestone,” European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said. “I am delighted that every Member State is now availing of the opportunities provided by the EFSI to boost investment in SMEs in order to create jobs and growth.”
RCB Bank Chief Executive Kirill Zimarin stressed the lender’s commitment to working closely with the EIB, the EIF, and the government, in providing the necessary liquidity to the market thus boosting the island’s real economy.
“Through such agreements, we are fulfilling an important part of our role. The role of the banking system in Cyprus is to provide the much-needed liquidity to the healthy businesses that want to implement their investment and growth plans. This is how we help the efforts of the government to achieve viable growth,” Zimarin said.
RCB also signed a second deal with the European Investment Bank for an additional €40m. It follows a €20m loan signed with RCB in February 2016, which has already been fully allocated to more than 10 new investments.