On 30 January, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending arm of the European Union, and Credo Bank, Georgia’s fifth-largest commercial bank, signed a new five-year loan agreement worth GEL 28.8 million (€10 million).
The financing will be available in synthetic floating local currency to let micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Georgia enjoy better rates and to protect against exchange-related risks. This is the first such arrangement by the EIB worldwide, setting a precedent for other countries.
“This latest loan with our long-time partners at Credo Bank will help the country’s economy overcome some of the problems created by energy and food price shocks, inflation, the pandemic, climate change and regional conflicts,” said EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska, responsible for the Bank’s activities in Georgia.
The loan is also the first granted under EIB Global’s €100 million MSME Outreach Initiative for the Southern Caucasus region. Signed in late 2022, the initiative improves inclusion and access to finance for underserved MSMEs in the Southern Caucasus by helping the medium and smaller size banks of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia broaden their service offerings.
Some 26,500 jobs are expected to be created or retained in the MSME sector in the South Caucasus region, stimulating private sector growth and promoting social inclusion through financing in the form of some 6,150 sub-loans to MSMEs.
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