The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) is being officially launched in Dublin today by Michael Noonan (Ireland's Minister for Finance) and Brendan Howlin (Ireland's Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform).
The Irish Government also invited Dr Wolfgang Schäuble (Federal Minister of Finance), Dr Ulrich Schröder (Chief Executive Officer of the KfW Group) and Dr Werner Hoyer (President of the EIB) to this ceremonial event.
KfW has been supporting the Irish Government in its measures to set up an institution to promote the SME sector since November 2013.
Indeed, in numerous workshops, it has shared its expertise on all aspects of SME financing with its Irish partners, thereby contributing to an efficient set-up process for the new institution. Moreover, the German Federal Government had assigned KfW the task of negotiating a global loan with the SBCI.
These negotiations were also completed this week, with the result that KfW is now also providing the SBCI with financial support in the form of a global loan guaranteed by the German Federal Government. The loan is for EUR 150 million and is earmarked for the financing of investment loans granted to small and medium-sized enterprises in Ireland.
"Ireland has made considerable efforts in recent years and demonstrated impressive willingness for reform on the day. The foundation of the SBCI couldn't come at a better time, as demand for entrepreneur loans is rising sharply in Ireland. We are delighted to make yet another active contribution to economic growth in Ireland through our global loan," said Dr Ulrich Schröder, Chief Executive Officer of the KfW Group.
The task of the SBCI, which is owned by the Irish state, is to provide liquidity and thereby finance investments made by Irish SMEs. In line with the method employed by many European promotional banks, the SBCI's funds are being handed out to SME customers as loans through regular banks.
See the newest Research document "Ireland: Successful Return" from KfW's Economic Research team, from October 31, 2014 under: http://ots.de/U0ocC/
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