Garantiqa, EIF sign cooperation agreement
Credit guarantor Garantiqa and the European Investment Fund (EIF) signed a cooperation agreement in Budapest on Friday which will unlock HUF 80 billion in loans to Hungarian SMEs, state news agency MTI reported.
EIF Chief Executive Pier Luigi Gilibert said the fund is dedicated to supporting SMEs. With the agreement, 3,500 such enterprises could receive support as credit guarantees for creating jobs and enhancing growth.
The agreement is part of the Program for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME), which was launched by the European Commission and aims to make it easier for SMEs to access financing in all phases of their life cycle.
Garantiqa CEO Éva Búza said the individual surety limit for companies in the program is HUF 920 million, adding that startup firms can also avail themselves of guarantees. The guarantee rate for most loans is 85%, but in some cases can reach 90%, she added.
The CEO said the support is not considered state aid so companies which have already received financial support can use it, too. Even agricultural companies and those looking for export financing can ask for guarantees, she added.
Garantiqaʼs surety stock rose 21% to HUF 443 bln in 2016. The guarantees were for a total of HUF 540 bln of loans. The surety stock could climb more than 20% this year, with the guaranteed loan amount rising to HUF 650 bln, said Búza.
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