THE European Investment Bank (EIB) and Bank of Cyprus on Friday signed an agreement to inject €134m of cheap credit for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) and micdaps.
Under the agreement underpinned with state guarantees, the EIB will provide €100m and Bank of Cyprus €34m from own sources.
Friday’s deal was the first project for 2017 under this scheme drafted by the EIB and the Cyprus government two years ago, through which €0.5bn has been allocated to the Cypriot economy.
In view of the scheme’s demand, Finance ministry Permanent Secretary Christos Patsalides, announced the government decided to increase state guarantees from €500m to €750m.
“We have already signed 12 different guarantee agreements with a total of €475m within the framework of this scheme and till today around 43 per cent of the total amount has been utilised. We expect that all Cypriot banks that benefited from this scheme will intensify their efforts to finance SMEs and mid-caps thus contributing to the whole effort for sustainable recovery of the Cypriot economy,” Patsalides added.
Charis Pouangare, Director of BOC’s Consumer and SME division, said that up to now more than 650 companies have been approved for a total amount of €300m, while €230m have been absorbed by the economy. He added that €100m are pending dispersion, whereas an amount of €110m is pre approved but not signed. (CNA)