The Malta Development Bank (MDB) on Thursday (today) launched two new favourable financing schemes to facilitate an investment of €180 million in the Maltese economy in a bid to boost economic regeneration.

Prime Minister Robert Abela welcomed these two schemes during the official opening of the new building of the MDB in Floriana celebrating five years since its foundation, pointing out the significant work that the Bank had during the pandemic period and providing context to the current situation and the role of the Bank in the time to come.

“If we didn’t have this institution, we wouldn’t be in a position to have guarantee schemes for loans for businesses. Today we have almost half a billion euros in loans to thousands of companies spread over many sectors, including those most affected by the pandemic, such as hotels and restaurants,” said Dr Abela.

He noted how the Bank’s role continued to lead to a strong recovery so that today the Maltese economy is bigger than it was before the pandemic.

Turning to the new schemes, the Prime Minister explained how the announced schemes will continue to push the digitalisation and decarbonisation of the Maltese economy, saying that just as the MDB came in with strength to protect businesses, now it must come in with strength to spur tomorrow’s economy.

“Therefore I welcome the two schemes which between them facilitate an investment of €180 million in innovative fields,” he said. “These should provide a solid basis for the changes that need to be made in our economy and together with the Recovery and Resilience Plan they will spur the changes that are crucial for our country to continue to experience economic success.”

Among others, these schemes will benefit businesses to focus on electric vehicles and start-ups to be more innovative.

The two schemes launched on Wednesday – SME Guarantee Scheme (SGS) and Guaranteed Co-Lensing Scheme for SMEs (GCLS) – have a total available portfolio of €180 million.

The SGS scheme will offer financing to new investment and business transfers with loans of up to €750,000. The second scheme will focus on new investments through co-lending with accredited commercial banks. Loans of up to €10 million, subject to state aid considerations, will be on offer.

Besides accessing finance not otherwise available, eligible SMEs benefit from a longer repayment period, lower collateral requirements, and lower interest rates as a result of the credit risk protection from the MDB’s guarantee and the backing of the Pan-European Guarantee Fund (EGF).

Dr Abela expressed his view that “more entities need to work with the bank”, saying he is convinced that this institution “can be a main pillar in the transformation of our economy”.

Featured Image:

Malta Development Chairperson Prof Josef Bonnici with Prime Minister Robert Abela. Department of Information / Omar Camilleri

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