The European Investment Fund and Banif Bank (Malta) PLC have signed an agreement through which by the end of 2019, 6 million Euro will be allocated in financial facilities by the end of 2019, with the aim of supporting investments by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malta.

This is the second SME Initiative transaction signed in Malta and will generate more than 65 million Euro of loans benefitting around 850 Maltese companies. The primary aim of SME Initiative Malta, which is a joint financial instrument of the European Commission, the EIB Group and the Government of Malta, is to generate SME financing by giving a partial risk cover for SME loan portfolios.

The deputy prime minisiter, Hon. Louis Grech, said that this agreement complements other initiatives which promote SMEs in Malta and should the funds be absorbed early, the government will increase its contribution to the SME Initiative.

This financial instrument is intended to address the distinct needs of SMEs in Malta and will provide faster and easier access to funds for SMEs. In recent years, banks have become more wary in their lending, this being a disadvantage to SMEs, the latter being instrumental to the Maltese economy and employment. Under these circumstances, the SME Inititive contributions have become more significant.