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.


Shuaa Capital begins consolidation after buying Kuwait’s Amwal

Updated 16 December 2018
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Shuaa Capital begins consolidation after buying Kuwait’s Amwal

LONDON: The Dubai-based financial services firm Shuaa Capital has started “consolidation efforts” following its acquisition of the Kuwait-based Amwal International Investment Company, according to a statement.
The move follows the recent completion of a public tender process, and Amwal shareholders’ general assembly on Dec. 12, according to a statement from UAE state news agency WAM.
Shuaa said earlier this year that it had struck a deal to boost its stake in Amwal to more than 87 percent.
Amwal’s key subsidiary is Noor Capital Markets, a brokerage with operations in Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Turkey and Jordan.
Fawad Tariq-Khan, CEO of Shuaa Capital, said the acquisition will allow his company to boost its presence in some of those markets.
“The commencement of this consolidation exercise represents the culmination of our efforts in establishing a broad geographic footprint across the region’s strongest markets. From our heritage in the UAE, and now in our six well-placed jurisdictions, we are well positioned to tap into a diverse range of growing markets,” he said. “We are excited about the potential to take our expertise into Kuwait, Turkey and Jordan, as well as bringing Noor Capital Markets’ services and offerings to our home territories. We believe that we have a winning combination which will support our continued transformation on the path to sustainable profitability.”
Khurram Sayeed, CEO of Noor Capital Markets, said the consolidation had “tremendous prospects” for the businesses.