Loans of up to EUR 1 mln will be granted to Bulgarian companies under preferential conditions by UniCredit Bulbank. This became possible after the bank signed a guarantee agreement under the JEREMIE initiative (Joint European Resources for Micro to medium Enterprises).
In Bulgaria, the financial instrument is managed within the Competitiveness Operational Programme by the European Investment Fund (EIF). The programme will ensure access to funding of about EUR 400 mln in total in support of Bulgarian companies.
The JEREMIE loans are intended for investment and working capital needs, and their maturity is between 12 and 72 months. Besides, the companies will be exempt from a guarantee fee because the guarantees will be covered by JEREMIE.
"The guarantee product will ensure adequate balance in the distribution of risk between financial institutions, and thus better terms and conditions are achieved in the lending to small and medium-sized enterprises", Ivan Peev, Head of Commercial Strategy with UniCredit Bulbank, explained. According to him, this will further stimulate investment and growth in the country, which on its turn will increase the competitiveness of companies.
Loans under preferential terms and conditions will be provided with priority to industrial manufacturers, as well as to companies dealing with innovations and telecommunications. The funds envisaged in this programme, however, will not be available to companies in the following sectors - agriculture, aquacultures, activities related to export, real estate and coal mining.