UNICREDIT Bank Slovakia signed an agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) in late February for a line of credit amounting to Ř50 million.
The funds will be used in every region, except Bratislava, to finance projects that build, expand and modernise production facilities. The Bratislava Region will use it for research and development projects, innovative programmes, information and communication technologies and for private investments in the education and health care sectors.
"Corporate entities up to 3,000 employees will be eligible to take out such a loan," said Štefan Brychta, head of UniCredit Bank's corporate and project financing department.
The line of credit can be used for financing a project worth a maximum of Ř50 million, while the EIB funding can cover 50 percent of the project investments. The maximum period of the project's implementation is three years and the loan maturity must be more than four years.
Brychta said that the line of credit is exceptional in the fact that it allows larger companies to receive a loan, while up to now only those with up to 250 employees, or in special cases up to 500 employees, would have been eligible.
Financing through the new framework agreement with the EIB can be, according to UniCredit Bank representatives, combined with financing through EU funds.
This line of credit agreement is not the only one that UniCredit Bank Slovakia has signed with the EIB. In 1999, Hypovereinsbank Slovakia, a predecessor of HVB Slovakia that was incorporated into UniCredit, signed a line of credit agreement for Ř30 million and another one for Ř50 million in 2003. From the second line of credit, Ř20 million still has not been allocated.
Brychta explained that the bank opened a new line of credit with the EIB before exhausting the previous one because the EIB no longer supports local government projects in the new agreement.
"Therefore, the remaining Ř20 million from the previous line of credit will hopefully be allocated to finance local government projects," said Brychta.