EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell stated: “Small and medium businesses are key to Georgia’s economic development, and many of them have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. We are very happy that the European Union, via our bank the EIB, has been able to facilitate further access to finance to help them overcome current challenges and to innovate and develop for the future.”
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the European Union's bank. It is the long-term lending institution of the EU and is the only bank owned by and representing the interests of the EU Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investments in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. The EIB works closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy.
As the largest multilateral borrower and lender by volume, the EIB provides finance and expertise for sound and sustainable investment projects which contribute to furthering EU policy objectives. More than 90% of EIB activity is focused on Europe but it also supports the EU's external and development policies.
The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.
The InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility is established under the “EU InnovFin Finance for Innovators” initiative developed under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, which also covers Georgia. It provides guarantees and counter-guarantees on debt financing of between €25 000 and €7.5 million in order to improve access to loan finance for innovative SMEs and small mid-caps (up to 499 employees). The facility is managed by the EIF, and is rolled out through financial intermediaries – banks and other financial institutions – in EU Member States and Associated Countries. Under this facility, financial intermediaries are guaranteed by the EU and the EIF against a proportion of their losses incurred on the debt financing covered under the facility.
EU4Business is an EU initiative that helps SMEs in the six countries of the Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) to finance their development and boost economic growth. EU4Business support is delivered by the EIB together with other organisations outside the EU such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. All EU activities that support SMEs in the Eastern Partnership countries are part of EU4Business. The EIB has joined forces with the European Union to strengthen economic development in the countries that have signed Association Agreements with the EU – namely Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – by providing financial and technical support targeted at SMEs in these three countries. For more information, visit http://www.eu4business.eu
About Bank of Georgia:
JSC Bank of Georgia is the leading Georgian bank with a market share of 35.9% (based on total assets), 35.6% (based on total loans) and 35.4% (based on client deposits). The Bank offers a broad range of retail banking, corporate banking and investment management services. As of 31 March, 2020, Bank of Georgia served approximately 2.5 million client accounts through one of the largest distribution networks in Georgia, with 228 branches, the country’s largest ATM network, comprising 939 ATMs, 3,183 Express pay (self-service) terminals and a full-service remote banking platform and a modern call center. Bank of Georgia is listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, through its parent company, Bank of Georgia Group PLC, which is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. Bank of Georgia has credit ratings from global rating agencies: ‘Moody's: ‘Ba3/’Ba2 (foreign and local currency), outlook ‘Stable’; Fitch Ratings: ‘BB-/B’ (long and short term issuer default ratings), outlook ‘Negative’.