EBRD boosts support for mid-sized corporates as crisis bites

By Anthony Williams
@ebrdtony

The EBRD is stepping up support for medium-sized businesses with the introduction of a new financing facility to help out existing corporate clients that have been negatively affected by the global economic crisis.

The Bank has set aside €250 million to fund its “Mid-Sized Corporate Support Facility” to provide funding of up to €20 million for around 25 corporate clients.

Throughout the EBRD region, otherwise healthy businesses are suffering from the economic downturn, facing slower sales and payment delays and seeing their access to credit dry up.

“These companies have built up successful business models and are the seeds of the future economic success of their countries. They need exceptional financial support in exceptional times and the EBRD is happy to provide this,” said the EBRD’s First Vice President Varel Freeman.

The facility applies to companies that either still have EBRD loans or equity investments or have repaid their commitments to the Bank within the last two years.

The EBRD is responding to the rapidly changing requirements of businesses by granting this finance under a fast-track approval mechanism. Funding will be available to businesses throughout the EBRD Countries of Operations and to the whole spectrum of corporate clients.

A number of projects are already being considered and the Bank expects to see funds being utilised quickly. This support to existing clients is also expected to encourage other commercial lenders to the corporate sector to resume their own financing once credit market conditions normalise.

The new facility for medium-sized corporates forms part of the EBRD’s overall response to the global economic crisis that includes a 20 percent increase in planned investments in 2009 to around €7 billion.

The EBRD has stepped up its financing generally for viable businesses in both the financial and corporate sectors, with additional investments in banks aimed largely at maintaining the flow of credits to small and medium sized enterprises.