SOFIA (Bulgaria), November 26 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's state-run Fund of Funds (FoF) and local First Investment Bank (Fibank) [BUL:FIB] agreed to launch a credit line exceeding 70 million levs ($40.1 million/35.8 million euro) in support of farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in rural areas, the agriculture ministry said on Friday.
The credit line will be financed with 38 million levs under the EU's Rural development 2014-2020 operational programme, as Fibank will come up with the remainder, the agriculture ministry said in a press release.
The low-interest loans, of up to 2 million levs each, will have a repayment period of ten years.
Agricultural producers and SMEs in rural areas will be able to benefit from the loans until December 31, 2023. The funding should support both agricultural and non-agricultural activities in rural areas that increase the competitiveness of the sector and promote social inclusion and support sustainable development.
The main activity of FoF is the structuring and management of financial instruments co-financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds during the 2014-2020 programming period.
Fibank is the fifth-largest lender by assets in Bulgaria, according to central bank data for the end of September.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)
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