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EIB, Bulgaria's UniCredit Bulbank to back Covid-hit businesses with 200 mln euro

EIB, Bulgaria's UniCredit Bulbank to back Covid-hit businesses with 200 mln euro Photo: EIB/All rights reserved.

SOFIA (Bulgaria), October 18 (SeeNews) - The European Investment Bank (EIB) said it signed with Bulgaria's UniCredit Bulbank, part of Italian banking group UniCredit, a 60 million euro ($69.5 million) guarantee agreement that is expected to unlock new loans of nearly 200 million euro to support Bulgarian businesses suffering from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The operation, backed by the European Guarantee Fund, enables UniCredit Bulbank to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs), mid-caps and large corporates by providing affordable loans to finance working capital, additional liquidity needs, or ongoing and new investments and expansion plans, the EIB said in a statement on Friday.

The financing will be available to companies across Bulgaria operating in sectors in line with the EIB’s mission and objectives, including innovation, environment, and support for SMEs, the statement read.

"According to our experts, the economy is recovering and the forecast is that Bulgaria will end 2021 with more than a 4% increase of GDP. As a bank, we will do our best to support the recovery and be part of the solution. With the agreement that we are signing today, we will be able to offer our clients a new powerful tool to support them in their investment plans and thus support the economy as a whole," Tsvetanka Mintcheva, CEO and chair of the management board of UniCredit Bulbank, said in the statement.

UniCredit Bulbank was Bulgaria's largest lender by assets at the end of August, according to central bank data.

($ = 0.863319 euro)

UniCredit Bulbank AD is among the biggest banks in SEE, for more reference take a look at Top 100 banks