21.12.2012 – EUR 260m of loans for Bulgarian SMEs under JEREMIE

The EIF has signed agreements with four banks (Allianz Bank, First Investment Bank, ProCredit Bank and Société Générale Expressbank) under the Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE) initiative to benefit Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Bulgaria.

With the JEREMIE funding, the four banks will be able to extend loans with reduced interest rates of at least 50% to over 3,300 SMEs across Bulgaria looking to strengthen or expand their businesses. Information on how to access loans financed under the JEREMIE initiative will soon be available from the selected banks.

The JEREMIE Initiative is implemented in Bulgaria within the framework of the OP “Increase of the competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy 2007- 2013″ co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the State Budget. The four banks will double the initial budgetary allocation of EUR 130m and channel an amount equal to approximately EUR 260m as low interest rate loans to Bulgarian SMEs.

Commenting on the four operations, EIF Chief Executive Mr. Richard Pelly said “We are pleased to be signing 4 financing agreements in Bulgaria for a product that has been designed specifically in response to the credit crisis. Through our agreements SMEs will benefit from low interest rates and reduced collateral, which will stimulate much needed investment and growth”.

With this new funded instrument with a risk sharing element, the four banks will be provided with financial resources to be on-lent on preferential terms to Bulgarian SMEs and will pass on a substantial financial benefit to the final borrowers. The four agreements result from a Call for Expression of Interest launched in July 2012 which attracted high interest resulting in 17 applications from Bulgarian banks. In order to select the financial intermediaries, EIF proceeded with thorough checks and assessment of the expressions of interest received against set criteria.

 EIF is currently assessing the possibility of additional agreements under this instrument.

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11.10.2012 – 17 credit institutions expressed interest for the newest debt financial instrument under JEREMIE.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) has registered strong interest from Bulgarian credit institutions towards the newest financial instrument to be deployed under the JEREMIE Initiative in Bulgaria. The deadline for submission of expressions of interest under the product fell on the 28th of September 2012 with a total of 17 credit institutions expressed interest to become Financial Intermediaries and requesting a total allocation exceeding EUR 550 m from JEREMIE Holding Fund (representing an oversubscription by 3.8 times on the current budget allocated).

Under the new financial instrument, the allocation of EUR 150m from the Operational Programme “Development of the competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy 2007-2013”, matched by the funding required from Financial Intermediaries, will amount to EUR 300m to be channelled to SMEs in the form of loans with preferential interest rates until 31 December 2015.

EIF considers the strong interest expressed as a firm indicator of the necessity and the attractiveness of the product both for the SMEs and the credit institutions. In addition, the high competition for the product is to logically lead to further improvement of the conditions for the final beneficiaries of the funding: the Bulgarian enterprises.
EIF is currently in the process of selecting financial intermediaries. It is expected that the first loans to SMEs will be available in the first quarter of 2013.

About the EIF

EIF’s central mission is to support Europe’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance.  EIF designs and develops venture capital and guarantees instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. The EIF total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 6bn at end 2011. With investments in over 370 funds, the EIF is a leading player in European venture capital due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in high-tech and early-stage segments. The EIF guarantees loan portfolio totalled over EUR 7.6bn in close to 220 operations at end 2011, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.

About the JEREMIE Initiative

JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises) is a joint initiative launched by the European Commission (Directorate General Regional Policy) and the European Investment Bank group to improve access to finance for SMEs in the EU within the Structural Funds framework for the period 2007 – 2013. JEREMIE enables the EU Member States and Regions to put money from the structural funds and also national resources into holding funds that can finance SMEs in a flexible and innovative way. The new initiative aims at developing and fostering the role of entrepreneurship within the EU in order to meet the objectives of the Lisbon agenda and help structural funds to deliver greater benefits to the market. At the level of the European Union, the EIF has currently signed 13 Holding Fund agreements.

In Bulgaria, the JEREMIE Holding Fund is financed from the European Regional Development Fund and co-financed by 15% by the State Budget within the framework of the Operational Programme Development of the Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy 2007 – 2013. Under JEREMIE Initiative in Bulgaria, EIF has developed instruments providing support at all stages in the development of enterprises in Bulgaria – Pre-Seed and Seed for emerging entrepreneurs, VC for the enterprises in their early stages, as well as Growth and Mezzanine targeted at more mature, established companies seeking expansion opportunities.

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27.07.2012 – Launch of the call for expression of interest for Financial Intermediaries under the funded financial instrument with an embedded risk sharing element

The European Investment Fund (EIF) announced the launch of the Call for Expression of Interest to financial intermediaries which will manage the funded financial instrument with an embedded risk sharing element in the framework of the JEREME Initiative. The deadline for submitting expressions of interest is September 28, 2012. 


The Call for Expression of Interest is directed to financial intermediaries (bank institutions), through which EIF, as a manager of the JEREMIE Holding Fund will invest a budget in amount of EUR 150m in SME in the form of loans with preferential interest rate conditions. The selected financial intermediaries will have to build portfolios of SME loans, adhering to the eligibility conditions described in the call.


The full text of the Call along with the templates for expressing an interest could be seen here.


Until no later than 24/08/2012, the Applicants may request clarifications regarding the Call for Expression of Interest at info.rbd@eif.org.

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09.07.2012 – Close to 800 teams with ideas applied for funding to the two Acceleration & Seed funds which started under the JEREMIE Initiative in Bulgaria.

July 9th, 2012

Close to 800 teams have applied to the novel Acceleration & Seed funds, developed under the JEREMIE Initiative in Bulgaria in the framework of the Operational Programme “Competitiveness”.   The management of the instruments has been undertaken by the Fund Managers – Eleven and Launchub, which were selected by the European Investment Fund in April 2012.

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30.09.2011 – EIF Negotiates Commitments with 3 Private Equity Funds under JEREMIE

30th September 2011

Further to the signature of five guarantee agreements with Bulgarian banks in July 2011 under the Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE) initiative, EIF progressed with the selection of financial intermediaries under the calls for expressions of interest for the equity products and is currently negotiating a potential commitment with the following private equity fund managers:

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29.08.2011 – Call for EOI No. JER-009/5 launched

29th August, 2011

On 29th of August 2011, the European Investment Fund launched Call for Expression of Interest No. JER-009/5 to select Financial Intermediaries that will receive resources from the JEREMIE Holding Fund for Bulgaria to implement the following Financial Instrument:  Entrepreneurship Acceleration and Seed Financing Instrument.

Interested Financial Intermediaries can find more information here.

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14.07.2011 – EUR 400m for Bulgarian SMEs under the JEREMIE Initiative

14th July, 2011  

The European Investment Fund (EIF) has signed 5 guarantee agreements with CIBANK, ProCredit Bank (Bulgaria), Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria), UniCredit Bulbank and United Bulgarian Bank under the Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE) initiative, allowing them to provide up to EUR 400 million of new loans to Bulgarian small and medium enterprises.

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First Loss Portfolio Guarantee (FLPG)

FLPG stands for First Loss Portfolio Guarantee instrument. The purpose of this financial instrument is to stimulate bank lending to Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) by providing credit risk protection (in the form of a first loss portfolio capped financial guarantee) in order to reduce the particular difficulties that SMEs face in accessing finance because of the lack of sufficient collateral in combination with the relatively high risk they represent.

The overall budget of the instrument allocated under JEREMIE in Bulgaria is an amount of EUR 78.4 million. As the instrument requires the Financial Intermediaries (FI) to contribute resources five times larger than the public funds allocated, the total budget coupled with the private contribution equals EUR 392 million.

Key Terms

The main objective of the instrument is to provide credit risk protection to the Financial Intermediaries translating into preferential conditions for the SMEs obtaining loans. The preferential conditions may vary between Financial Intermediary, industry, SME, loan purpose, maturity and other parameters. The key terms of the instrument are as follows:

Preferential conditions: Reduced collateral requirements, interest rate and associated fees & taxes on the loans extended.
Maximum loan amount: Up to EUR 1.875 million.
Guarantee level: Up to 80% of each loan included in the Financial Intermediary’s portfolio.
Loan Purpose: Investment and / or working capital.
Maturity: up to 120 months (10 years) with the possibility of a grace period.

Eligibility Conditions:

  • The borrower must be registered under the Commerce Act of Bulgaria
  • The borrower must be an SME;
  • The borrower must not be a “firm in difficulty”;
  • The borrower or the transaction to be financed must not be operational in the sectors stipulated by Article 1, paragraphs 1 of Reg. 1998/2006;
  • Furthermore, investments are subject to restrictions in relation to SMEs active in the following sectors:
       1. Arms production and trading;
       2. Gambling;
       3. Tobacco;
       4. Human cloning;
       5. Genetically Modified Organisms.

Note: Re-financing of an existing loan is not permitted through this instrument.

Selected Financial Intermediaries
EIF has signed 5 Guarantee Agreements with five Bulgarian banks totalling
loans of EUR 392 million in July 2011. Since then, CIBank, ProCredit bank, Raiffeisen bank, Unicredit Bulbank and United Bulgarian Bank have been extending loans with preferential conditions to the SMEs. The respective eligibility requirements and contact details of each bank are presented below:



Tel: (02) 90 29 144 / 157 / 263 / 309






ProCredit Bank (Bulgaria)

Tel: +(359) 700 1 70 70 
E-mail: contact@procreditbank.bg
Web: ProCredit JEREMIE Loans  






Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria)

Tel: +(359) 2 91 985 101
E-mail: rbbg.smemail@raiffeisen.bg, rbbg.allocations@raiffeisen.bg
Web: Raiffeisen JEREMIE Loans   



Unicredit Bulbank

Daniel Enchev, Kiril Stoychev
Tel: +(359) 2 923 25 77 / 23 80
E-mail: ecc@unicreditgroup.bg
Web: JEREMIE Loans by UniCredit Bulbank 



United Bulgarian Bank
Telephone: 0700 117 17

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