BUSINESS

Development bank plan up for consultation

DIMITRA MANIFAVA

TAGS: Finance

After four years of announcements and negotiations with the country’s creditors, the bill for the creation of the Hellenic Development Bank was put up for public consultation this week.

HDB will be the result of the transformation of the Hellenic Fund for Entrepreneurship and Development (ETEAN), and will not only be able to provide collateral, as has been the case to date, but also to issue loans to enterprises. However, this lending will not be direct, so that the HDB will not in competition with the commercial banks. Rather, loans will be issued via the banks, investment funds and other financing entities. The HDB will not take deposits.

The new entity will manage some 5 billion euros from the various ETEAN funds and from projects co-funded by the European Union. According to the Economy Ministry, this amount will have a total impact of 11 billion euros on the economy.

Despite past statements by government officials about foreign development banks’ interest in participation in the share capital of HDB (such as China’s, Brazil’s and even Germany’s), at the moment there is nothing concrete on the table. However, considerable interest has been expressed by private investors in joint investments in start-ups in cooperation with the new entity.

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