Investment Plan deals signed in Malta and Slovakia
The European Investment Fund has signed new SME financing agreements with banks in Malta and Slovakia to provide low-cost loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises and mid-caps.
The agreements benefit from the European Fund for Strategic Investments guarantee, the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.
The agreement between the EIF and the APS Bank is the first EFSI deal to be signed in Malta, taking the total EU countries with EFSI financing to 27. As a result of the Investment Plan‘s support, APS Bank will provide €12 million in low-cost loans to innovative Maltese SMEs.
Meanwhile in Slovakia, the EIF signed two EFSI deals with Československá Obchodná Banka amounting to €135 million for SMEs and mid-caps.
Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, responsible for Energy Union, said: “Nearly 6,000 SMEs and micro-enterprises in Slovakia will be able to access new finance, guaranteed by the Juncker Investment Plan. Investment under the Plan can be combined with other sources of EU funding. The Plan is such a success that we just announced its expansion and doubling its capacity.”
Building on the success of the EFSI in its first year, the European Commission on 14 September proposed to extend the EFSI by increasing its firepower and duration as well as reinforcing its strengths.
Due to high demand, the EFSI steering board in July scaled up the SME window of the EFSI, increasing it by €500 million, meaning more EFSI-backed equity and loans will reach European SMEs.
Dariusz Rosati MEP