Bulgarian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will get additional 150 million euro ($194.4 million) under the Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE) plan, the economy ministry said.
The funds will be available to Bulgarian companies from the first quarter of 2013 to the end of 2015, the ministry said in a statement.
The loans, with terms of up to 10 years, will be disbursed through Bulgarian commercial banks that will provide 50% co-financing. This will increase the available resources to 300 million euro. The lenders that are to take part in the initiative will be chosen by the European Investment Fund (EIF) - the risk financing arm of the European Investment Bank.
The part of the loans provided directly from the JEREMIE initiative will carry no interest rate, while the co-financing will carry market interest rates.
EIF's central mission is to support Europe's SMEs by helping them access finance. EIF designs and develops venture capital and guarantees instruments which specifically target this market segment.
JEREMIE is a joint initiative launched by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group to improve access to finance for SMEs in the EU within the Structural Funds framework for the period 2007-2013. At the level of the EU, the EIF has currently signed eight national and three regional Holding Fund agreements.