March 16, 2020 / 3:23 PM / 22 days ago

Bulgaria to provide $284 mln to support coronavirus-hit businesses

SOFIA, March 16 (Reuters) - Bulgaria plans to boost the capital of the state-run Bulgarian Development Bank by 500 million levs ($284 million) to help businesses hit by measures aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus, the finance minister said on Monday.

The funds will be used to issue portfolio guarantees to commercial banks to allow them to be more flexible with companies that have difficulty servicing loans, Vladislav Goranov said.

The Bulgarian Development Bank will also be able to take temporary stakes in companies that need capital support, with a buyback option, he said. The option will be applied in cooperation with creditor banks. ($1 = 1.7613 leva) (Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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