Investment Plan for Europe: EIF and KredEx sign COSME agreement to support EUR 200 million of loans to SMEs in Estonia


The European Investment Fund (EIF) and KredEx have signed the COSME agreement in Estonia, benefiting from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.

The COSME counter-guarantee agreement will allow KredEx to support EUR 200m of loans and leases to 1000 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Estonia over the next three years. KredEx will provide subordinated guarantees to banks and leasing companies for investment loans, working capital loans, leases, overdrafts and bank guarantees. The counter-guarantee agreement is provided under the COSMEprogramme with financial backing from the European Commission.

EIB Vice-President, Jan Vapaavuori said: "The EIB Group is dedicated to the creation of jobs and growth in Europe. The signature with KredEx shows the EIB Group’s commitment to deliver concrete results for SMEs in Estonia. I very much welcome this project which is part of our successful effort to roll out the EFSI in 2015.”

EU Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "As I saw during my visit to the country in June, Estonia is a frontrunner when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship. This agreement being signed by KredEx with the EIF is good news for 1000 SMEs who will receive financing for their businesses. Estonia can also benefit in the context of the investment plan from infrastructure projects and in particular cross-border ones."

Commenting on the signature, EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “I am pleased that we are signing the EFSI SME counter-guarantee agreement in Estonia with our long-standing partner, KredEx under the COSME programme. This new agreement will enable Estonian SMEs with limited collateral to gain access to finance to create jobs and growth and develop their companies”.

Lehar Kütt, CEO at KredEx said: "It is mainly the rapidly developing companies, small companies and start-up companies that are not able to qualify for a loan due to their lack of guarantee. At the same time, these are the enterprises which initiate innovation in the economy and create jobs. This is why I am very pleased that with the help of COSMEs counter-guarantee we are able to facilitate access to loan capital for such enterprises.”

This deal reflects the EIB Group’s commitment to respond swiftly to calls from Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament for a rapid launch of concrete initiatives under EFSI, accelerating lending and guaranteeing transactions capable of boosting jobs and growth in the EU.