The establishment of the Cyprus Entrepreneurship Fund (CYPEF) is based on a joint initiative of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus (RoC). CYPEF aims at facilitating and enhancing access to finance for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) via offering them products at favourable terms, including reduced interest rates, potentially reduced collateral requirements, extended loan maturities and grace periods.
The set up and operation of the CYPEF is funded by an EIB loan of €70 million, based on a Finance Contract signed between the RoC and the EIB in December 2013 that was amended in May 2017. The CYPEF management has been entrusted to the European Investment Fund (EIF) with the signing of a Mandate Agreement on the 17th February 2014. For monitoring and supervising purposes and for ensuring the compliance of the CYPEF’s activity with the provisions of the Mandate Agreement, the CYPEF Unit has been established, under the competence of the DG EPCD, which acts as a focal point of communication and coordination between the EIF and the RoC. The CYPEF Unit is supported by the CYPEF Steering Committee, comprised by representatives of the competent governmental and other bodies (DG EPCD, Ministry of Finance, Treasury, Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Association of Cyprus Banks).
The CYPEF products will be made available to the SMEs through financial intermediaries (commercial banks) selected through a call for expression of interest. The banks will contribute by their own funds, via co-financing 50% and the Government by equally covering the remaining amount of each loan granted through CYPEF, thus increasing the total amounts available to SMEs. The banks can participate in the CYPEF programme following a signature of Operational Agreements, with the EIF. In the full deployment of the CYPEF programme, a total amount of at least €140million of loans will be granted to the SMEs. The maximum loan for each firm has been set to the amount of €1,5 million. The CYPEF’s first product is namely the Portfolio Risk Sharing Loan (“PRSL”). It should be noted that SMEs of the primary sector can also benefit from CYPEF loans.
The financial intermediaries participating, in the CYPEF programme, are Bank of Cyprus and Ancoria Bank Ltd. The total loan portfolio to be available for SMES, via Bank of Cyprus, is EUR 60ml and via Ancoria Bank Ltd is EUR 10ml, which are completed by the equal financial contribution of the Cyprus Government. As a result, the total amount available for SMEs participating the CYPEF programme equals to EUR 140 ml.
For further information, you may visit EIF’s website for Cyprus.