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Oct 22, 2009 15:57 EEST
October 22 (SeeNews) - The European Investment Bank (EIB) on Thursday said it is lending a combined 93.5 million euro ($140.2 million) for urban infrastructure projects and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Bulgaria.
A loan of 43.5 million euro for urban road transport in the Bulgarian capital was signed in Sofia on Thursday by Marta Gajecka, EIB Vice-President responsible for lending in Central Europe as well as Bulgaria, and the acting Mayor of Sofia, Minko Guerdjikov, EIB said in a statement.
"I am pleased to see urban transport for the Bulgarian capital high on the agenda. After our EUR 105 million support for the Sofia metro last year, our efforts are now focused on urban road transport," Gajecka said in the statement.
The EIB also signed a 50 million euro facility with Eurobank EFG Bulgaria for SME funding.
"The EIB facility in partnership with Eurobank EFG Bulgaria will offer greater scope for meeting the liquidity needs of local companies in this unprecedented international economic crisis that we are facing," Gajecka added.
Gajecka and the country's Finance Minister Simeon Dyankov also signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will facilitate implementation of large infrastructure projects in Bulgaria. The Memorandum provides for technical assistance from the EIB in order to enhance the monitoring and implementation of certain major transport and environmental projects in the country co-financed with European Union grant funds and EIB loans.
In the last five years, since 2004, the EIB has provided loans in Bulgaria totalling some 1.8 billion euro including the current loans. Of the total, 700 million euro was for co-financing Bulgaria's national contribution to the implementation of investment priorities and measures with EU Cohesion and Structural Funds during the period 2007-2013.
EIB operations in the country cover all of key economic sectors, ranging from basic infrastructure to manufacturing and services and including support for small and medium-sized companies as well as municipalities.
($ = 0.6677 euro)
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