Austria’s Raiffeisen Leasing has been granted a €30m (£36m) wholesale credit facility from the European Investment Bank (EIB), to improve lending in Bulgaria.
Loans backed by the facility will target around 150 SMEs and market companies in the agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and storage sectors.
The EIB, which has been cooperating with Raiffeisen Leasing since 2002, said the lessor was “a strong and reliable partner in intermediated lending, with a well-developed network of branches across Bulgaria and a profound knowledge of the country’s SMEs market.”
EIB vice president Vazil Hudák said: “Support to SMEs is crucial for further development of the Bulgarian economy. Improved access to long-term financing strengthens the competitiveness of recipient companies that employ 1.5m Bulgarian citizens and create two thirds of the value added of the Bulgarian economy”.
Dobromir Dobrev, deputy chief executive officer of Raiffeisen in Bulgaria, responsible for corporate banking, capital markets and the leasing company, said: “Thanks to our good cooperation with the EIB, we will further expand our support to Bulgarian businesses.
“Under this last agreement with the EIB, through Raiffeisen Leasing Bulgaria, we will provide new lease financing in [Bulgarian lev] and [euros] for a wide range of customers for purchases of equipment, trucks and trailers, light commercial vehicles and passenger car fleets and other assets.”
“Raiffeisen Leasing has traditionally supported small and medium-sized Bulgarian companies in their investment activities for over 14 years. This new credit facility from the EIB will enable our clients to enjoy leasing conditions similar to their competitors in Central Europe, and we believe this will not only support their investment plans but will also increase their competitiveness.”
In December, Raiffeisen received €5m from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to develop leasing in Kosovo, as the only lessor in the country.