The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Erste Bank, a Hungarian financial institution, have signed a COSME agreement that will allow Erste Bank to provide HUF 40 billion (ca. EUR 130 million) in loans to small and medium-sized Hungarian businesses.
Today's agreement will allow Erste Bank to launch two new loan products for SMEs – a fast track term loan and a five-year revolving or term loan for agricultural SMEs. The loans will be made available without high collateral requirements thanks to an EIF guarantee provided under the COSME programme with financial backing from the EFSI. Around 1,000 Hungarian SMEs are expected to benefit from the loans which will be approved in the course of the next three years. The loans will enable SME businesses to expand, innovate and create new jobs.
This is the fifth transaction agreement in Hungary made possible by the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EFSI is the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called "Juncker Plan".
Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: "The Investment Plan for Europe is providing over 400,000 SMEs across Europe with the finance they need to innovate, grow and create new jobs. I am delighted that, with today's agreement, a further 1,000 Hungarian businesses will benefit from the Plan. I congratulate everyone involved in making this agreement possible.”
EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: "This new partnership with Erste Bank will lead to new financing solutions being made available to Hungarian SMEs. The fast track loans and agricultural loans offered by Erste Bank will give an increasing number of business owners the possibility to grow their companies and EIF is very pleased to be able to support these financing products.”
Tamás Győr, Head of Erste Bank Corporate Business Development, said: “This agreement gives Erste Bank the opportunity to allow good SMEs gain access the finance they need more easily. Some of our clients are already benefiting from this agreement and we hope that many more will by the end of this year as this agreement is fully rolled out. Erste Bank is constantly working on providing Hungarian SMEs with loans that offer more flexibility and simplicity. Today's agreement is a big help in these efforts."
The Investment Plan is already expected to mobilise around EUR 626 million worth of investments in Hungary and a total of around EUR 178 billion across Europe as a whole.
About Erste Bank Hungary
In 1997, Erste Bank Hungary became a member of Erste Group, which was founded in 1819 as the first Austrian savings bank. Erste Bank Hungary has a network of 124 branches and operates 400 ATMs. With its consolidated subsidiaries Erste Bank Hungary is covering the entire spectrum of financial services and client needs. Erste Bank Hungary is among the TOP3 major players in the Hungarian retail banking market according to its number of clients, ATM and branch network.
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