Bratislava, February 18, 2020 – Slovak Investment Holding (SIH), Všeobecná úverová banka (VÚB) and Slovenská sporiteľňa (SLSP), have started a financial cooperation designed to provide low-interest loans to small and medium businesses in an effort to support research, development and innovation activities in Slovakia.
The cooperation consists of SIH providing VÚB and SLSP a guarantee instrument in the total amount of €49.12 million, channeled from the Operational Programme Integrated Infrastructure (OPII), which covers a part of the credit risk of the banks’ loan clients.
This financing programme is expected to facilitate and support better financing for projects of small and medium-sized enterprises in Slovakia. It is estimated that as part of their cooperation with the SIH, VÚB and SLSP will be able to provide loans totalling approximately €430 million by 2023. The interested businesses will soon be able to apply for these loans with any VÚB or SLSP branch office.
“Commencing our cooperation with additional important market players such as VÚB and SLSP brings small and medium-sized enterprises new possibilities to obtain more convenient financing, which is the key objective of financial instruments,” noted Peter Dittrich, SIH Executive Board Vice-Chairman and Investment Director.
“I am happy that VÚB, in the role of the financial intermediary, has found a new way to provide more attractive financing terms to our existing potential clients,” said Andrej Viceník, VÚB Executive Board member and head of its Corporate Banking division.
“Thanks to the Slovak Investment Holding covering part of the credit risk, we can offer our clients an easier loan access and lower interest rates. This way, we will be better able to assist small and medium businesses in launching and expanding innovative activities and thus increasing prosperity in all regions of Slovakia,” explained Norbert Hovančák, SLSP Executive Board member.
The main objective of the portfolio guarantee is to close the existing gap on the loan market by covering a part of the credit risk. This should enable small and medium-sized enterprises to obtain more advantageous financing terms despite their risk profile or insufficient collateral.
Slovak Investment Holding
The SIH is a joint-stock company that is 100-percent owned by the Slovak government. Its main mission is to support strategic public and private investments in Slovakia in the field of infrastructure, energy efficiency, waste management, social economy, small and medium-sized enterprises, health service as well as cultural and creative industry. It draws its funding from the European structural and investment funds and it cooperates with commercial co-investors, whether international financial institutions, commercial banks, fund managers or private investors. The SIH finances projects exclusively via repayable schemes, i.e. through financial instruments instead of grant funding. This model allows SIH to use the same resources repeatedly to finance new investments after previous projects are repaid.
Všeobecná úverová banka
The VÚB bank is the second largest bank in Slovakia and the only universal bank with a licence to provide the full portfolio of banking services to individual, corporate and institutional clients. The crux of its business comprises mortgage and consumer loans, deposit and payment products and services, corporate banking, financing foreign trade activities, consumer financing and factoring. Through its daughter and affiliate companies, it also offers services in the field of leasing and pension saving. In providing its services, it uses a broad network of branches, which includes 153 retail branches, eight Magnifica centres and 31 corporate branches specifically designed to serve small and medium-sized enterprises. On top of that, the VÚB bank operates 11 mortgage centres that specialize in complex services related to financing of housing. VÚB is a member of Intesa Sanpaolo, an international bank holding with representation in more than 40 countries all over the world.
With its 2.2 million clients, Slovenská sporiteľňa is the largest commercial bank in Slovakia, leading the way in the field of total assets, total volume of loans provided to the population and deposits made by clients as well as the overall number of branch offices and ATMs. It serves its clients through 240 branches and 17 company centres all around the country. The sole stockholder of Slovenská sporiteľňa is Erste Group Bank of Austria.