EIF and United Bulgarian Bank together with UBB Interlease sign agreement under InvestEU to guarantee more than €110 million in new loans for SMEs and Small Mid-Caps
22 Decempber 2022
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and United Bulgarian Bank (UBB), together with UBB Interlease, signed today the first agreement under InvestEU in Bulgaria. EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova, Dobromir Dobrev, Executive Director Corporate Banking and Markets of UBB, Nikolay Hristov, Chief Executive Officer of UBB Interlease and Hubert Cottogni, EIF Director & Head of Mandate Management underlined the strategic importance of the agreement for the competitiveness of local companies.
According to the agreement, the EIF will provide guarantees for loans under three key policy areas. The competitiveness guarantee will support about €76 million of new debt financing for SMEs to contribute to their competitiveness, growth and jobs. The InvestEU Competitiveness is “the successor” of the COSME programme (2014-2020) under which UBB and UBB Interlease have provided over 7400 loans with preferential conditions for the amount of over EUR 800 million. The sustainability guarantee will support about €24 million of new debt financing for SMEs and Small Mid-Caps to contribute to Europe’s green transition. The thematic area is strategic for UBB with InvestEU allowing the bank to have even braver plans for the sustainable transition of Bulgarian enterprises. A further €10 million of loans under the SME innovation and digitalization guarantee will support businesses that develop and introduce new products, services and processes. This thematic product being “the successor” of the InnovFin under which UBB has granted over 120 loans with preferential conditions for the amount of over EUR 127 million.
EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova said: “The European Investment Bank Group is glad to be a strategic partner of the European Commission in implementing InvestEU which allows us to finance more innovative, higher risk projects. Together with our partners we will address market gaps and reduce the risk for third party investors, private or public, unlocking investment which is currently slowed down or hindered by economic uncertainty. We appreciate UBB’s really proactive response to InvestEU, the first application in Bulgaria, and one of the first across the EU. Today’s agreement will further increase EIF’s and UBB’s cooperation in key EU policy areas and boost the competitiveness of Bulgarian business.”
Dobromir Dobrev, Executive Director Corporate Banking and Markets of UBB, commented:„I am proud that after signing the first Juncker Plan transaction in Bulgaria back in 2015, seven years later our bank is once again the market front-runner with the InvestEU programme. I am even prouder that we are doing so for two companies, part of KBC Group in Bulgaria – not only UBB, but UBB Interlease as well. This new guarantee agreement embodies our long-term successful partnership. Here today we are signing an agreement for more than €110 million new loans and leases to support the Bulgarian SMEs and Small Mid-Caps as the first operation under InvestEU in Bulgaria. It will enable us to support the competitiveness of the local companies, as well as to increase the lending in the strategic areas – sustainability, innovation and digitalization. We are certain InvestEU programme will help the Bulgarian SME’s and Small Mid-cap companies to accomplish their investment ideas, while accessing funds with preferential terms and alleviated collateral-related conditions.“
“We are delighted to be renewing our partnership with United Bulgarian Bank, this time under the InvestEU programme. This agreement is designed to channel financing to Bulgarian businesses to help them become more competitive, innovative, as well as invest in green and sustainable transition. Given the current energy challenges that we are facing across Europe, we are confident this collaboration can generate financial support that will allow these businesses to take important steps forward in the green transition.” - commented Hubert Cottogni, EIF Director & Head of Mandate Management.
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 Investment Fund (EIF) is a specialist provider of risk finance to benefit small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) across Europe. It is a part of the EIB Group. Its shareholders are the EIB, the EU, represented by the European Commission, and a wide range of public and private banks and financial institutions.
The InvestEU programme provides the European Union with crucial long-term funding by leveraging substantial private and public funds in support of a sustainable recovery. It also helps mobilise private investments for EU policy priorities, such as the European Green Deal and the digital transition. The InvestEU programme brings together the multitude of EU financial instruments currently available to support investment in the European Union, making funding for investment projects in Europe simpler, more efficient and more flexible. The programme consists of three components: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal. The InvestEU Fund is implemented through financial partners that will invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion. The entire budgetary guarantee will back the investment projects of the implementing partners, increase their risk-bearing capacity and thus mobilise at least €372 billion in additional investment.