European Investment Fund - JEREMIE

EIF and Bank of Cyprus sign two guarantee agreements for new MSEs financing

The European Investment Fund (EIF) has today (18/04/2011) signed two guarantee agreements with the Bank of Cyprus, allowing the bank to provide up to EUR 50 million of new loans to Cypriot Micro and Small enterprises (“MSEs”), of which EUR 35 million will support enterprises in their start-up or newly established phase, i.e. with up to 36 months business history.

The guarantees are implemented under the JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises) initiative, co-financed from EU Structural Funds.

This instrument offers a new opportunity to a broad range of MSEs across Cyprus looking to invest or expand their business. The bank will be in a position to finance enterprises with insufficient collateral, attractive loan interest rates and also provide for extended repayment and grace periods. Priority will be given to enterprises that operate in the areas of information and communication advancement, research and development, renewable energy sources, and cultural ands social services.

Nicolas Karidas, Senior General Group Manager said:“These agreements with EIF brings a new instrument to the Cyprus market, which will contribute further to financing SMEs. The activities of these companies will be further supported by this new instrument, in a particularly sensitive period, offering to them attractive finance terms. Details about the terms will be announced soon”.

Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund, Richard Pelly said, “The EIF is committed to supporting the creation and growth of small businesses across the EU and we are convinced that these two deals with the Bank of Cyprus will help to mobilise additional finance to support even more, small and micro-businesses in Cyprus. We are happy to see that the JEREMIE initiative is becoming a true supporter of the Cypriot economy during this period of economic crisis”.

George Georghiou, Permanent Secretary of the Planning Bureau, said that “Implementing the JEREMIE Initiative in Cyprus, with the co-financing of the EU Structural Funds, is expected to significantly contribute to the general objective of the Cypriot Government for enhancing the entrepreneurship and the business environment in the country, by covering part of the needs of the Cypriot SMEs as well as the gap observed in their financing, which have been considerably increased due to the effects of the global economic and financial crisis” .

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