The Bank presented the opportunities for supporting farmers during the First Agricultural Business Forum in Sofia
Since 2007 under specialized programs for agriculture only United Bulgarian Bank (UBB) has credited approximately 2500 projects, as the total amount of the provided loans exceeds BGN 360 million. The largest portion – about 2000 - stands agricultural loans against euro subsidies. That was announced by Ms. Marinela Koeva, Business Development Manager at UBB AD during the First Agricultural Business Forum - entitled “Challenges, Opportunities and Prospects of the Sector” - held in Sofia yesterday. UBB AD and Interlease EAD, members of NBG Group in Bulgaria, presented the financing opportunities and the assets acquisition conditions for the purpose of expanding the business of farmers and the wide range of products and lease schemes which both companies offer in support to agricultural producers.
The forum which was declared open by Mr. Miroslav Naydenov, Minister of Agriculture and Food, was attended by the minister’s deputies – Mr. Tsvetan Dimitrov and Ms. Svetlana Boyanova - as well as by Mr. Roumen Porozhanov, Executive Director of State Fund Agriculture, and by representatives of industry associations from the entire range of agricultural production and raw materials processing.
The loans under Rural Development Programme (RDP) which UBB AD had funded, approximated 200, the loans under the national investment programmes of State Fund Agriculture (SFA) – over 100, and the loans against warehouse receipts – over 160, Ms. Marinela Koeva also added. She explained that in Bulgaria financing against warehouse receipts had not yet been fully implemented and very few banks operated with such products, while in other countries, such as Kazakhstan for example, that type of financing was very well developed.
One of UBB AD’s products that farmers could use is the agriculture loan against euro subsidy (bridge loan). The Bank’s clients might benefit from an interest rate of 6,5%, and as of this year they could apply as early as at the areas declaration stage, Ms. Koeva underlined. The specialized credit product which UBB AD offers for a sixth consecutive year provides agricultural producers with the opportunity to utilize a sum of up to 95% of the total amount of the requested direct payments per unit of area, a minimum amount of BGN 5000, as well as attractive interest rates from 6,5% to 7,5% depending on the stage of the application process – submitted application form or certificate issued from SF Agriculture.
Answering a question Ms. Koeva emphasized that presently there was an enhanced interest towards loans for purchase of farming land and UBB AD met the increased demand with better terms and a reduced interest rate.
It became clear at the forum, also attended by Ms. Fani Assenova, Deputy Executive Director of the largest lease company in Bulgaria that attractive lease schemes for stimulating the investment process in Bulgarian companies were also being offered by Interlease EAD. The clients of the company could utilize an interest rate of 5.25%, short deadlines and flexibility and the lease of products is made without additional collateral. The company offers to agricultural producers financial leases of a wide range of farming machinery, equipment, transport vehicles and cars.
The First Agricultural Business Forum - entitled “Challenges, Opportunities and Prospects of the Sector” - was defined by its participants as extremely useful and well- timed due to the provided opportunity for an open discussion on the challenges and the business opportunities facing the agrarian sector in Bulgaria.