The European Investment Bank (EIB) plans to expand support of large corporate business in Ukraine in 2016, Senior Corporate Banker for EU Neighbouring Countries at the EIB Jean-Jacques Soulacroup has said.
"We would like to emphasize the focus that we are putting on this year in Ukraine is increasing our targets with our volumes with the private sector. Not only on SME side and mid-caps, but also on the large caps, the large corporates, because we think that we are now in a position that in the context Ukraine seems to be more and more favorable for financing the large corporates as well," Soulacroup said at the international conference entitled "Focus Ukraine: Global Export Credit Agency and Multilateral Financial Institutions Strategy Meeting."
"Our 40% of portfolio dedicated to SME's is basically intermediated through banks, local banks. If I am really looking honestly about the picture of the EIB in Ukraine than on the pure corporate side we have financed basically 11% of our portfolio. So this is still very minor and we want to increase that. We want to do more. What we want to do is to target is to work with champions in Ukraine. When I say the champions I mean the companies that are the leaders in their market or that are the best managed and with best potential for development. I think this is important. But we want to target these champions that are suffering from the current economic environment," he said.
The banker said that these companies need not only short-term money, but also long-term money.
"What they need, in fact, is a long-term financing. They need eight, ten, twelve years of long maturities. And this is something that we can provide… For that we cannot do it by ourselves… for that we need the corporations that support all of you… We can finance only half of the investment cost of any investment cost, so this leaves the room for the other have to be financed," he said.
He also expressed his readiness to work on the guarantee mechanism that would allow cutting the cost of loans.
He said that the EIB has EUR800 mln to commit for this year as part of the 2014-2016 portfolio.
"We have been part of the package of EU commission for providing 11 billion to Ukraine and we committed ourselves to provide 3 billion. And out of these 3 billion over 2014 2015 and 2016 we've already signed 2.2 billion. As you have understood, we have EUR800 mln to commit for this year. Hopefully in 2017 we might be able to keep it going, probably with these amounts, hopefully with more," he said.
The banker said that the bank is already in the discussion with the Ukrainian government for projects in transport, transit energy and possible trade support.