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EIB invests €610 million to support Czech businesses

14/11/2022

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the bank of the European Union, has provided €50 million to SG Equipment Finance Czech Republic in the Czech Republic bringing total EIB support for Czech businesses in 2022 to €610 million.

  • In 2022, the EIB supported the faster recovery of the Czech economy and climate action by providing €610 million in credit lines for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps at SG Equipment Finance Czech Republic (SGEF), Česká Spořitelna, and Československá Obchodní Banka (ČSOB).

  • The latest €200 million EIB loan facility for SGEF was signed in two tranches of €150 million in July and €50 million in October. A fifth of the credit is expected to be offered also to businesses in Slovakia.

  • This operation with SGEF will also support SMEs and MidCaps and promote low-carbon and climate-resilient growth fostering sustainable transport, energy efficiency in manufacturing and agriculture, economic and social cohesion, innovation, and digitalisation.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the bank of the European Union, has provided €50 million to SG Equipment Finance Czech Republic in the Czech Republic bringing total EIB support for Czech businesses in 2022 to €610 million.

The EIB loan to SGEF is expected to improve access to financing and more attractive borrowing conditions for Czech and Slovak small businesses and mid-caps. It will facilitate new investments, enhance employment conditions, and eventually lead to more innovation, higher economic growth and increased competitiveness. It will also contribute to improving economic and living conditions in less developed regions.

In addition, the EIB credit facility is set to create a new source of climate action-focused financing for small and medium businesses and mid-caps, as well as other entities from the public and private sectors operating in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The SGEF credit line will support investments in climate action-related projects and accelerate decarbonisation of the local economies — key for the success of global climate action. This is the second tranche of the €200 million multi-beneficiary investment loan agreed with SGEF, while the first tranche of €150 million was signed in July 2022.

The operation with SGEF contributes towards energy independence and accelerates economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting companies through the current energy crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. SGEF is the third financial institution in the Czech Republic to benefit from EIB financing targeted primarily at small businesses in 2022 along with Česká Spořitelna and Československá Obchodní Banka.

EIB Vice President Lilyana Pavlova, who oversees EIB operations in the Czech Republic, said: “The EIB is committed to supporting Czech small businesses in their growth, development and provision of jobs. Our long-standing, excellent cooperation with SG Equipment Finance Czech Republic allows us to support Czech and Slovak infrastructure, boost research and digital innovation, and support small businesses — all key to better standards of living and doing business in both countries. This time we have created a flagship model for cooperation which also includes technical support in setting up climate action credit lines. We are very interested in replicating this model of cooperation across the banking sector in the Czech Republic and Slovakia so that we can do more for their national economies and global climate action while addressing urgent challenges like the energy crisis induced by Russian aggression in Ukraine.”

SGEF CEO Reinhold Knödl said: "Our cooperation with EIB began more than 17 years ago. Thanks to EIB financing, SGEF has supported various projects and financed assets for clients primarily from the SME and mid-cap category to the tune of almost €1.5 billion, of which approximately €100 million were environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments. We’d like to continue this trend further in the coming years. Thanks to the EIB’s support (not only financial but also technical — focused specifically on green objectives) we firmly believe that we will achieve our common ambitious goals.”

EIB advisory support provides new financing opportunities for local small businesses and mid-caps

To bring new financing opportunities to local small businesses and ensure the banking sector can expand the scope of its financial products with climate action loans, the EIB also extended its advisory support to SGEF under the EIB Advisory Hub’s Green Gateway programme. The Green Gateway is a comprehensive advisory support programme designed to support financial institutions in building capacity and accelerating their lending to climate action and environmental sustainability projects. It is available to all banks in the Czech Republic and Slovakia looking to expand their offer with climate action loans.

SGEF is receiving targeted support in the form of written reports, development of manuals, training and on-the-job support, covering topics such as project origination and green eligibility screening (including the use of the EIB Green Checker eligibility tool https://greenchecker.eib.org/), product development, impact reporting and monitoring.

EIB continues to support Czech economy, growth and job generation

This operation with SGEF is the third signed by the EIB in the Czech Republic in 2022 to support local small businesses and mid-caps. The EIB provided €100 million to Česká Spořitelna for COVID-19 support for small and medium businesses, €350 million to Československá Obchodní Banka (CSOB) and its leasing subsidiary. Earlier this year, the EIB and SGEF signed the first tranche — worth €150 million — of the loan expanded today.


Background information

About the European Investment Bank (EIB)
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by the EU Member States. The EIB Group has adopted a Climate Bank Roadmap to deliver on its ambitious agenda to support €1 trillion of climate action and environmental sustainability investments in the decade to 2030 and deliver more than 50% of EIB finance for climate action and environmental sustainability by 2025. As part of the roadmap, all new EIB Group operations have been aligned with the goals and principles of the Paris Agreement since the start of 2021.

About the EU Advisory Hub
Green Gateway is a joint comprehensive advisory support programme managed jointly by the EIB and the European Commission designed to support financial institutions in building capacity and accelerating their lending to climate action and environmental sustainability projects. This specific project with a consultancy firm costing €250 000 is implemented by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). It started in December 2021 and will be completed by the end of the year.

About SG Equipment Finance (SGEF)
SGEF ranks among the most important providers of non-bank financing in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In 2022 it financed business investments in the amount of €573 million. SGEF offers financial and operative lease and business loans including the use of subsidy-based aid and operational programmes. Clients can also benefit from supplementary services, especially comprehensive insurance. As a subsidiary of Komerční banka, it is part of the international financial group Société Générale.


Press contact
Katarina Karmazinova, tel.: +352 43 79 70217
Website: www.eib.org/press — Press Office: +352 4379 21000 — press@eib.org

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