OREANDA-NEWS. Based on the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) COSME guarantee agreement, the European Investment Fund (EIF) and Swedbank have increased their financing to Baltic companies by 160 million euros, now totalling 325 million euros.

In June 2016 the European Investment Fund (EIF) and Swedbank signed the first COSME multi-country agreements in total amount 165 million benefiting from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), a key pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe which aims to revive investment in strategic projects around Europe.

Due to high demand for financing by SMEs in Baltic countries, the COSME limit increase was applied by Swedbank. Since September the new signed COSME total limit for Swedbank Baltic units is 325 million. Additional limit (160 million) will allow around 1000 Baltic corporates to implement their sustainable investment plans.

Under the COSME programme, the EIF provides Swedbank with guarantees backed by the European Commission, which allows the bank to provide financing to companies in cases where these type of guarantees are needed by the companies. For SMEs this means more favourable financing conditions and higher capital availability.

COSME is the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) running from 2014 to 2020 with a total budget of EUR 2.3 billion. At least 60% of the programme will be devoted to ease access to finance for SMEs in Europe, with two financial instruments. The COSME Loan Guarantee Facility supports guarantees and counter-guarantees to financial institutions to help them provide more loans and lease finance to SMEs. This facility also includes securitisation of SME debt finance portfolios. The COSME programme also invests through the COSME Equity Facility for Growth in equity funds that provide risk capital to SMEs mainly in the expansion and growth stages. The COSME programme builds on the success of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) (2007-2013) which helped to mobilise almost EUR 21 billion of loans and more than EUR 3 billion of venture capital to over 381,000 SMEs in Europe.

The supported financing benefits from the support of the European Union under the Loan Guarantee Facility established under Regulation (EU) No 1287/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council establishing a Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium enterprises (COSME) (2014-2020).