EIB signs loan deal with Eurobank to fund small business


TAGS: Banking, Business

The European Investment Bank (EIB) said on Wednesday it had signed a deal to provide Greek lender Eurobank with a 40 million euro credit line to support small and medium-sized business lending and help the economy's recovery.

The agreement is part of the EIB's "jobs for youth" initiative, offering competitive interest rates to enterprises that promote youth employment.

"Our combined efforts will help companies to expand business activity and create much needed new jobs, especially for talented young people," said Jonathan Taylor, EIB Vice President responsible for lending in Greece.

After years of recession, Greece is struggling with a jobless rate of 23.4 percent - the highest in the 19-country eurozone. Young Greeks, aged 15 to 24 years, are hardest hit with an unemployment rate of 47.7 percent.

Eurobank, Greece's third largest lender by assets, last month signed a 100 million euro ($112.23 million) trade finance deal with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a unit of the World Bank, in a bid to provide much needed credit.

The European Investment Bank is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, owned by its member states. [Reuters]