MILAN, Jan. 28 (Class Editori) - The guarantee for innovation investments made available to SMEs by Unicredit and the European Investment Fund increases to 1 billion. The agreement is part of the InnovFin plan, a program designed to facilitate access to financial sources for about 1,300 small and medium-sized enterprises and small innovative mid-caps in nine Eastern European countries.
The bank led by Jean-Pierre Mustieri will thus be able to offer - through nine banks and six leasing companies in Central Eastern Europe - additional loans for up to € 500 million to innovative companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic Czech, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Those are junctions before the new Silk Road and countries that are part of the 17+1 initiative, to extend diplomatic and economic relations between Beijing and the countries of Eastern Europe.
From mid-2016 until today, within the framework of the InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility, the FEI (Bei group) signed six counter-guarantee contracts in Croatia worth € 355 million, € 200 million of which available for Erste, Zagrebacka banka and Unicredit leasing 55 million each, PBZ 25 million.
"In the past eight years, UniCredit launched over ten initiatives in cooperation with the FEI in the area of Central and Eastern Europe, for a total capacity of over € 1.7 billion. These include JEREMIE, RSI, SME Initiative, COSME, Microfinance Facility, WB EDIF, the Fund of Funds in the context of the EAFRD, EaSI and InnovFin SMEG. "More than 50% of these tools are already being used, supporting more than 5000 customers in the Region", explained the two Co-CEOs Commercial Banking, CEE, Gianfranco Bisagni and Niccolò Ubertalli.
"I invite entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to contact our partners in Croatia to make the most of this financial support for innovative entrepreneurship and to ensure economic and job growth, opening new position,” said Anton Kovachev, head of the European Investment Bank's Zagreb office.
Over 350 customers have already received support through InnovFin SMEG for the development of their innovative projects, underlines Unicredit. By doubling the amount, "We can further facilitate the development of innovative SMEs in our Central Eastern European countries, making it easier to access financial resources and supporting local economies. This highlights, once again, our strong commitment to serve customers in the CEE region."
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