New fund under OP Competitiveness to provide 300M euro for SMEs

New fund under OP Competitiveness to provide 300M euro for SMEs

A new guarantee fund is to be set up under operational programme Competitiveness, with 150 million euro allocated by the programme for subsidising small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The money will be managed by banks, which will have to provide a further 150 million euro, Bulgarian Deputy Economy Minister Evgeni Angelov said. Angelov made the announcement during the Mergers, Acquisitions and Private Equity conference organised by Capital.The scheme will operate as follows: a bank lends, for example, 100 000 leva to a company. Under the terms of the agreement, half the amount will be a direct grant from OP Competitiveness and the remainder a bank loan which must be extended at an interest rate 50 per cent below market rates."The aim of the mechanism is to have part of the SME programme funds redirected to subsidising companies and to ease lending terms by lowering interest rates," Angelov said, adding that many of the scheme parameters were yet to be discussed. (Source: The Sofia Echo)

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