Luxembourg/Sofia, 25 June 2013
EIB and Société Générale Expressbank sign a EUR 100 million credit line in support of small and medium-sized enterprises
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Société Générale Expressbank AD have signed an agreement for EUR 100 million to finance projects which will contribute to increasing employment and the competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy. The funds will be utilized to finance projects of small and medium-sized companies in the areas of industry and services, including tourism.
Luca Lazzaroli, the EIB’s Director for Lending in South-East Europe, commented: “Support for the financing of projects implemented by SMEs and mid-cap companies is the core policy objective of the EIB in Bulgaria. These companies represent the backbone of the economy: they create a significant amount of employment, particularly new job opportunities, and generate a substantial portion of GDP in Bulgaria. In cooperation with Société Générale Expressbank the EIB ensures that the benefits of it providing loans on favourable terms reach eligible promoters”.
Antoine Toussaint, Chief Executive Officer of Société Générale Expressbank, added: “We are glad to be working together with the EIB on this project tailored to the vast and important SME sector. It is an additional step in our already successful partnership with the EIB on projects stimulating the sustainable development of Bulgaria’s cities and economy. This is the biggest line between a bank and the EIB in Bulgaria so far, which is a clear sign of the continuing development of Société Générale Expressbank and our belief in supporting business in Bulgaria”.
Mr Toussaint also emphasized Société Générale Expressbank’s managerial and co-financing engagement in supporting the sustainable development of Bulgarian cities as a leading shareholder of the Regional Fund for Urban Development AD - mandated by the JESSICA Holding Fund, which is managed by the European Investment Bank.
The new intermediated loan extended to Société Générale Expressbank is being provided under the Joint IFI Action Plan for Growth in Central and South Eastern Europe, which is focused on providing better access to long-term finance for Europe's SMEs to help mitigate the effects of the financial crisis. Those funds will support growth by fostering economic restructuring, consolidation and diversification, as well as enhancing long-term competitiveness through the increased availability of long-term credit.
SMEs and mid-cap companies in the European Union represent 99% of all firms and employ some 76% of all workers. They are the main driver of economic growth, innovation, employment and social inclusion in all European Union countries, including Bulgaria.
Dušan Ondrejička, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel.: +352-4379-83334
Maya Klevtsova, Head of Public Relations, Société Générale Expressbank, tel. +359 893 301 774, email@example.com
About the European Investment Bank:
The European Investment Bank is the long-term lending institution of the European Union and is owned by the EU Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
About Société Générale Expressbank
Société Générale Expressbank Group is one of the top ten leading financial institutions in Bulgaria. It is composed by the bank Société Générale Expressbank and its subsidiary companies – Sogelease Bulgaria, Société Générale Factoring and its associate life insurance company Sogelife Bulgaria. Together with its 1,500 employees, Société Générale Expressbank aims to offer customers comprehensive, flexible, high quality, innovative products and services on advantageous price conditions. The bank has received various prestigious awards amongst which "Best Bank in Bulgaria" for 2012 by the international financial magazine Euromoney. Société Générale Expressbank also received confirmation from Fitch Ratings of its rating of 'BBB+' with positive outlook, which is the highest rating given by Fitch to a financial institution in Bulgaria.