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State and banks agree on SME loan guarantees

The state and commercial banks agreed on loan guarantees for small and medium-size enterprises (SME) at a meeting on Thursday, January 15, Slovak PM Robert Fico told journalists. The Slovak Guarantee and Development Bank (Slovenska Záruèná a Rozvojová banka, SZRB) will guarantee 55 percent of loans to a maximum of €331,939 (Sk10 million). SZRB needs to still sign agreements with individual banks and this could be carried out in the next month, the TASR newswire wrote.

The state and commercial banks agreed on loan guarantees for small and medium-size enterprises (SME) at a meeting on Thursday, January 15, Slovak PM Robert Fico told journalists. The Slovak Guarantee and Development Bank (Slovenska Záruèná a Rozvojová banka, SZRB) will guarantee 55 percent of loans to a maximum of €331,939 (Sk10 million). SZRB needs to still sign agreements with individual banks and this could be carried out in the next month, the TASR newswire wrote.

"An effective aspect of this project is that interested clients won't have to visit a specialised state bank but can visit a commercial bank that is a part of this program and become familiar with the conditions," Fico said after signing the Memorandum on Co-operation and the Exchange of Information for co-financing small and medium-size entrepreneurs. Slovakia's Finance Ministry, the Slovak Bank Association (SBA), SZRB, and state-owned Eximbanka are signatories.

The memorandum was praised by SBA president Regina Ovesny-Straka. "We agreed that we have to support the sector of small and medium-size entrepreneurs," she stated following the signing. In Ovesny-Straka's opinion, these loans will be used mostly for operational purposes, as the limit is rather low for investments. Even though a part of guarantees are to be assumed by the state, commercial banks will continue to analyze the risk of loan applicants, Ovesny-Straka pointed out. "Banks will make risk analyses; SZRB wants this as well. We will support companies that have good business," she said.

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