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EIF and Raiffeisen Bank sign €12m guarantee agreement to support SMEs in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Raiffeisen Bank have signed a guarantee agreement allowing the bank to increase its lending capacity to offer €12 million of new financing with better terms and conditions to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The EIF guarantee is provided to Raiffeisen bank under the COSME Loan Guarantee Facility, as part of its COVID-19 economic support package introduced by the European Union to provide working capital to European SMEs for the recovery.

Guarantees from the EIF, part of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group, will allow micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups affected by the pandemic to benefit from enhanced access to finance.

In addition, Raiffeisen bank will be able to extend its current lending and support to a wider range of business clients, even with increased credit risk. This includes start-ups in the country whose restricted lending opportunities due to high credit risk have been even further narrowed by the pandemic.

Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, said: “Small and medium-sized companies are heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic. We reacted very quickly to provide them with immediate liquidity.

"Thanks to this rapid action, the coronavirus measure under the COSME Loan Guarantee Facility is already available in more than 20 European countries. With this agreement SMEs in Bosnia and Herzegovina will benefit from the European Union support for recovery as well.”

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