10:02 | 04/12/2018 Global Economy
The Hungarian Central Bank (MNB) announced the launch of a new loan program worth 3.5 billion USD in order to boost small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) last Saturday.
"The new growth loan program, with a total of 1,000 billion forints (3.5 billion USD) will be initiated in the beginning of 2019," MNB posted on its official website.
Accordingly, the MNB provides zero-interest rates to credit institutions for refinancing funds, which can be transferred to SMEs at a rate of maximum 2.5 percent, well under market-levels, according to the central bank.
The loan will be available for investment purposes only, (including financial leasing), only in Hungarian forints, with a maturity of more than 3 years and specific utilization opportunities.
This loan is the fourth chapter of specific low-interest loan programs of MNB, the first three programs took place between 2013 and 2017 in a total value of 2,800 billion forints (9.8 billion USD).
Experts estimated that the program's contribution to Hungarian GDP has been between 2 and 2.5 percent.
According to the latest official figures, the Hungarian economy grew by 4.4 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018.