The EIB Group (EIB and EIF) has signed an agreement with the Government of Malta and the European Commission to increase financing available under the SME Initiative in Malta.
The initial SME initiative agreement in Malta has allowed Bank of Valletta and BNF Bank to deliver already approximately €60m of new SME financing across the country in less than three years. Due to the successful uptake of this initial agreement, the Maltese authorities, the EIB Group and the EC have decided to add additional resources to this initiative.
This increase will trigger additional SMEs financing for an amount of €28 million, resulting in more SMEs benefiting from European resources on advantageous terms, such as reduced interest rates and improved collateral requirements, bringing the total SME financing to around €90m.
Utilising the additional funding
Malta has initially contributed an amount of €15m from its European Regional Development Fund envelope to this EU initiative and, with this new agreement, the funding will increase to €22m which will be leveraged with commercial lending through a risk-sharing mechanism.
The SME Initiative entails the combined use of European Structural and Investment Funds, the Horizon 2020 programme and EIB group funds.
The Director of the EIB Lending Department Miguel Morgado said: “The EIB Group is fully committed to further support the rolling out of the SME Initiative and we are pleased together with the Maltese authorities to be announcing the increase of the resources available under this scheme. With today’s signature, we expect that around 300 additional Maltese SMEs will receive long term financing at attractive conditions. We are confident that this agreement will deliver lasting benefits to Maltese businesses.”
Commenting on the signature, Corina Creţu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy said: “I welcome Malta’s decision to increase the available financing under its SME initiative programme. This is a smart move that will directly benefit Maltese small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs; it will give them the financial boost they need to turn their ideas into concrete projects or expand beyond their local markets.”