EU signs Greek loan deal

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


Potential SABIC deal would affect Saudi Aramco IPO time frame, says CEO Nasser

Updated 20 July 2018
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Potential SABIC deal would affect Saudi Aramco IPO time frame, says CEO Nasser

JEDDAH: A potential deal to buy a stake in petrochemical maker SABIC would affect the time frame of Saudi Aramco's initial public offering (IPO), the oil firm's president and CEO Amin H. Nasser said Friday. 

The IPO of around 5 percent of Aramco, which was initially to take place this year but is now more likely to happen later, would be the world's biggest listing, raising up to $100 billion.

Nasser said that buying a stake in a chemical company like SABIC would positively affect Aramco's revenue, Al Arabiya reported.

“We are still in the very early stages of the discussion to buy a stake in SABIC,” the Aramco CEO said.

“Aramco is ready for the initial offer and the timing remains subject to the state's decision.”

Saudi Aramco said on Thursday it is looking at the possibility of buying a stake in SABIC, a move that could boost the state oil giant’s market valuation ahead of the planned IPO.
Aramco said in a statement that it was in “very early-stage discussions” with the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) to acquire the stake in SABIC via a private transaction. It has no plans to acquire any publicly held shares, it said.
In a separate statement, PIF also said talks about a sale were in early stages. “There is a possibility that no agreement will be reached in relation to this potential transaction,” it said.