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EBRD and EU commit fresh funds to support SMEs in Ukraine

Three local commercial banks to offer local currency loans to domestic small businesses
  • New financing programme of €70 million for Ukrainian SMEs
  • Funds in local currency will be available through Raiffeisen Bank Aval, ProCredit Bank and OTP Bank
  • Programme to receive financial grant from EU under EU4Business programme

Small businesses in Ukraine will benefit from new financing opportunities offered through EBRD partner banks. Local currency facilities equivalent to €70 million are signed between the EBRD and its partner banks. The programme, which will enhance access to finance opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses is grant supported by grant funding from the EU under the EU4Business Business Support Centres programme,

Three local banks are signing up to the programme at this stage: Raiffeisen Bank Aval is drawing a local currency loan equivalent to €25 million; JSC ProCredit Bank Ukraine will receive the Hryvna-equivalent of to €20 million and; JSC OTP Bank Ukraine a loan equivalent to US$ 25 million.

The funds will be on-lent for investments as well as for working capital purposes to local small businesses (SMEs), the engine of the local economy and creator of almost 80 per cent of jobs in the country. The local currency loans will protect companies from the volatility of currency exchange rate.

The EU4Business initiative aims to improve Ukrainian SMEs’ access to finance and business knowledge. The EU funded initiative also supports job-creating in Ukrainian businesses by equipping small and medium-sized companies with new skills and supporting their ambitions to export to the largest neighbouring market – the EU single market of more than 500 million consumers.

Thousands of Ukrainian SMEs have already benefited from the EU4Business programme by strengthening their competitiveness in domestic and international markets through in-depth advisory services, financing, training courses and awareness-raising activities.

Ambassador Matti Maasikas, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, said: “Along with practical advice on how to access the EU's Single Market and how to market their products, one of the main goals of the EU4Business initiative in Ukraine is to improve SMEs' access to affordable long-term financing in local currency. We are pleased to team up with EBRD in doing this, so that the Ukrainian SMEs can benefit from such financing.”

Matteo Patrone, EBRD Managing Director, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, said: “This latest financial initiative by the EBRD and the EU clearly demonstrates our commitment to Ukraine. We are supporting the investment financing of the SME sector, the success of which is essential for the development of the national economy. We are pleased that our long-term partners Raiffeisen Bank Aval, ProCredit Bank Ukraine and OTP Bank Ukraine support this important undertaking, improving access to finance for entrepreneurs across Ukraine.”

The EBRD is the largest international financial investor in Ukraine. Since the start of its operations in the country in 1993, the Bank has made a cumulative commitment of almost €13.6 billion through 432 projects in the country.

The European Union is made up of 28 Member States. Together, during a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders. Ukraine is a priority partner for the EU. Together with its Financial Institutions, the EU has mobilised over EUR 13 billion in loans and EUR 2 billion in grants since 2014 to stabilise Ukraine’s economy, to support comprehensive reforms and to help improve the lives of its citizens.

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