EU signs Greek loan deal

EIF Chief Executive Pier Luigi Gilibert. (Reuters)
Updated 16 April 2018
0

EU signs Greek loan deal

  • EIF CEO Pier Luigi Gilibert: “Our exposure to Greece is now about €1 billion.”
  • Gilibert said the EIF supports innovative companies active in sectors including artificial intelligence, fintech and big data.

Athens: The European Investment Fund (EIF) on Monday signed three loan guarantee agreements with Greece’s National Bank (NBG) worth €640 million ($791.04 million) to provide funding to small and medium-sized businesses to support the Greek economy’s recovery.
The EIF is part of the European Investment Bank (EIB) group which aims to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses by helping them to access finance.
“Our exposure to Greece is now about €1 billion,” said EIF CEO Pier Luigi Gilibert. “This has successfully catalyzed €3.5 billion in additional funding.” Greece, slowly emerging from a deep financial crisis, is expected to exit its third international bailout in August. Its economy is gradually recovering. Gross domestic product grew 1.4 percent last year.
Gilibert said the EIF supports innovative companies active in sectors including artificial intelligence, fintech and big data. Its loan guarantees are risk sharing instruments, enabling banks on the ground to choose eligible firms.
Under the so-called InnovFin agreement, NBG will provide loans at favorable terms to innovative SMEs for two years. The EIF’s support for innovative Greek companies is expected to generate a portfolio of €100 million of loans.
The second agreement, COSME, will allow NBG to provide €500 million of loans to around 1,900 small businesses in Greece over three years. EaSI microfinance guarantee, the third facility, will provide
€40 million of loans to 3,400 micro-borrowers, very small companies which have difficulties in accessing credit across the country.
“With today’s financing agreements, the Juncker Plan continues to support Greek companies tangibly and help them grow,” said EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos.


Stuck in an unwanted mobile contract? UAE cuts early termination fees

Updated 21 March 2019
0

Stuck in an unwanted mobile contract? UAE cuts early termination fees

  • Telecom companies can now only charge a month worth of fee for early termination
  • The move comes as the UAE regulator observed multiple complaints from customers

DUBAI: Customers in the UAE who feel stuck in a phone contract due to massive early termination fees can now breathe, as the Emirate’s telecoms regulator has introduced a new policy.  

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced that telecom companies Etisalat and Du can now only charge one-month worth of fee for early termination.

The policy will apply to new mobile contracts, but the TRA said it is working to implement the same in other service contracts, as reported by UAE-based Arabian Business.

“We strive to hear the comments of the stakeholders on the operators’ services,” Hamad Obaid Al-Mansoori, TRA director general, said.

“We don’t hesitate to review any policies or regulations for the interests of the parties and the public,” he added.