The FINANCIAL — Agreement has been reached for the European Investment Bank to back a new small business lending initiative by Piraeus Bank that will target lending to support job creation for unemployed young people across Greece.
Piraeus Bank, consistent to its commitment for supporting entrepreneurship, signed a new contract with European Investment Bank for the financing of enterprises established or operating in Greece.
This agreement is the continuation of the previous successful partnership with EIB under the programme “Grouped Loans for SMEs”. With the expansion of this agreement, Piraeus Bank will eventually create a portfolio of EUR 90 million for the financial support of projects implemented by small and medium enterprises and midcaps in the form of investment loans, and extend liquidity in the form of working capital to support the expansion of existing supply chains.
This agreement incorporates EIB’s “Skills and Jobs – Investing for Youth” initiative, offering competitive interest rates to enterprises that promote youth employment. The extension of this current financial agreement between Piraeus Bank and the European Investment Bank was achieved in the right timing to contribute actively and decisively to the strengthening of Greek entrepreneurs, the creation of sustainable development and the enhancement of youth employment. This agreement is part of Piraeus Bank’s strategic planning aiming at supporting the return to sustainable growth for the Greek economy, according to EIB.
“Supporting private sector growth and investing in young people are principal objectives of the European Investment Bank’s engagement in Greece. Piraeus Bank is a key partner for the EIB in Greece and our combined efforts will help companies across the country to expand business activity and create much needed new jobs,” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice-President responsible for lending in Greece.
The European Investment Bank will provide EUR 40 million to support investment by small and medium sized enterprises and provide working capital for eligible youth employment investment. Contracts for the new lending under the European Investment Bank’s “Skills and Jobs – Investing for Youth” initiative were signed earlier this week.
The EIB launched the “Skills and Jobs – Investing for Youth” initiative, the Bank’s first ever dedicated lending programme to specifically support young people, in July 2013. Complementing youth employment policies at European and national level the programme finances vocational training, student and apprentice mobility, and aims to address the shortage of jobs for young people in smaller companies.
The new credit line agreed with Piraeus Bank represents the second partnership agreed by the European Investment Bank with a Greek bank under the youth employment programme in two weeks. Under the “Skills and Jobs – Investing for Youth” initiative, the European Investment Bank finances lending by local banks in countries where labour market conditions are particularly difficult for young people.
Piraeus Bank will use the new EUR 40 million EIB loan to lend to industries, tourism and service sector companies in the coming months. These firms will benefit from more competitive interest rates and be able to strengthen their response to tackling high-levels of unemployment amongst young people in Greece.
In 2016 the European Investment Bank has provided EUR 215 million for investment in Greece, including support for the new Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation and backing for corporate research and industrial development.