ECONOMY

EIB agrees deal to provide Greek SMEs with 500-mln-euro trade finance facility

The Greek government and the European Investment Bank agreed on Wednesday a 500-million-euro trade finance facility to support foreign trade oriented small and medium sized companies (SMEs) in Greece.

“Under the trade finance facility, the EIB will act as a secure bridge between leading Greek and foreign banks to the benefit of Greek SMEs in the import-export sector,” EIB President Werner Hoyer said during a ceremony in Athens.

“The EIB will play a critical role in mitigating the risk perception of the commercial banks that are no longer able to provide these services and we will enable them to be resumed at a time when Greece needs trade finance in order to pursue export-led growth for its economic recovery.”

Under the agreement, the EIB will provide foreign banks with appropriate guarantees in favour of the Greek banks for letters of credit and other trade finance instruments.

EIB signed the deal with three Greek banks: National, Piraeus and Eurobank, and with three foreign lenders: HSBC, Citi and Commerzbank.