Lending is gaining more and more importance as the pace of economic growth is accelerating, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said at the opening of a Hungarian Development Bank (MFB) info point at an OTP Bank branch in the third district of Budapest.
The Minister, who is a Member of Parliament
from a constituency in that part of the Hungarian capital, noted that MFB info points
have been designed to make the allocation of EU funds cheaper, faster and more
efficient and, as such, they are one of a kind in the EU.
The Government stimulates lending through various incentives, he added.
One of the main objectives of these is to get EU funds to enterprises which can
most optimally use them in the fastest way possible.
A press release by the Ministry for National Economy points out that
thanks to the Hungarian Development Bank and other financial institutions
participating in the chain of info points, a network could be created that
brings loans closer to enterprises, the Minister stressed. It is a sign of
success, he said, that the number of companies assisted by the EU’s lending
schemes to improve SME competitiveness has reached more than 1,300, to date.
A common characteristic of these financial instruments is that they are
to be refunded, and this encourages bidders to make properly evaluated business
plans and implement their investment plans efficiently, Mihály Varga stated. In
the first half of the program period 2014-2020, the Hungarian government is to
publish calls to bid for tenders that cover some 75% of the overall available
amount of HUF 750 billion (currently about EUR 2.45 billion).
The number of new MFB info points is now 126, the Minister said. By
year-end, another 74 points are scheduled to be opened, and thus, the total
number of network units through which EU-funded and preferential combined loans
can be obtained will be 642. In 2017, the amount of EU funds projected to be
channeled to borrowers is some HUF 60 billion (some EUR 195 million): of this,
HUF 52 billion is for enterprises and more than HUF 8 billion is for private
persons, Mihály Varga noted.
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