Citi has agreed to provide up to €200 million in trade financing to help support the Greek economy as part of an initiative led by the European Investment Bank.
Citi’s contribution will be part of a €500 million program created to facilitate imports and exports for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Greece. The program is designed to increase liquidity and restore trade flows in the country and to reduce Greek SMEs’ financing costs.
Citi will make use of the EIB-supported credit facility to confirm letters of credit and other trade finance instruments issued by the three participating Greek banks – National Bank of Greece, Piraeus Bank and Eurobank Ergasias.
The initiative is part of Citi’s broader effort to work with Greece and other countries to facilitate the free flow of trade and support economic growth.
John Ahearn, Global Head of Trade at Citi, said: “By facilitating the access of SME companies in Greece to affordable financial instruments, we demonstrate once again our continuous support to the country. The EIB chose to work with Citi as a result of our established relationships with Greek financial institutions, our global branch network and our experience of working with other multilateral development banks. We look forward to continued collaboration with the EIB to develop similar multilateral stimulus and supply chain programs for other EU countries.”
Citi has played a significant role in structuring the trade finance program, having worked extensively with the EIB. The program builds upon Citi’s experience on similar structures with other supra-nationals and multilateral development banks, including its work with the International Finance Corporation and the African and Asian Development Banks to develop global trade finance and global trade liquidity programs.
Mihai Tanasescu, Vice-President of the EIB, said: “This short-term, credit support instrument will provide guarantees for commercial banks to finance trade, thereby facilitating export-led growth and helping boost the local economy. We are pleased to partner with Citi to redynamize trade finance and international trade by Greek companies.”