Šiaulių bankas to extend credit facilities to Lithuanian SMEs
Šiaulių bankas has signed an extension of the agreement with the European Investment Fund (EIF) that will enable the bank to further expand the granting of the risk sharing loans under the JEREMIE Initiative to Lithuanian Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) by EUR 20 million.
The original implementation of this initiative was signed in the beginning of 2010 enabling Šiaulių bankas to expand its ability to foster growth in SMEs, and now this agreement has been extended. Šiaulių bankas shall contribute the same amount of EUR 10 million to the loan granted by the EIF. Therefore, EUR 20 million in total shall be assigned through Šiaulių bankas to finance SMEs in Lithuania.
“Considering the current events in Europe’s financial sector, this extended agreement facilitates Šiaulių bankas to further support the SMEs in Lithuania which play a key role in developing growth in the economy. The additional funds assigned to us will allow us to improve the funding possibilities and increase the lending to Lithuanian companies”, - says the Chief Executive Officer of Šiaulių bankas Audrius Žiugžda.
The initiative is part of the operations of the JEREMIE Holding Fund that is being financed from the EU Structural Funds under 2007-2013 Economic Growth Operational Programme of Lithuania, and managed by the EIF on behalf of the Government of Lithuania.
In the beginning of 2010, the EIF and Šiaulių bankas started the implementation of the agreement amounting to EUR 40 million (more than LTL 138 million) which involves lending to business entities under the JEREMIE initiative. In the first 18 months, Šiaulių bankas has lent to over 150 enterprises across all regions of Lithuania and in many varied sectors of the economy. The success of the process has therefore resulted in the agreement being extended.
Šiaulių bankas focuses its activities on small and medium-sized business and renders financial services to private clients. The biggest shareholder of Šiaulių bankas is the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).