June 9, 2020 / 1:34 PM / 23 days ago

Polish state fund to help big firms cope with coronavirus crisis

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland’s state fund said big companies could from Tuesday apply for financial aid to help them cope with the coronavirus crisis, after the European Union approved a 25 billion zloty ($6.4 billion) package of support.

The fund said it would offer loans to support liquidity worth a total of 10 billon zlotys and preferential loans worth a total of 7.5 billion to help companies reduce debts to levels they had before the coronavirus crisis.

In addition, the fund said it was allocating 7.5 billion zlotys for companies seeking recapitalisation.

But the fund said it was not planning any long-term investment in large firms, classified as those with more than 250 workers or annual turnover of more than 50 million euros ($57 million). The fund has another programme for smaller firms.

“For every investment, whether it’s on the public or private market, we want there to be a clear exit path,” the fund’s chief, Pawel Borys, told a news conference, adding the fund could sell any stake on the stock market or to another company.

Poland’s government approved the 25 billion zloty package in April but had been awaiting EU approval. The fund said EU approval came in recent days, without giving a precise date.

Reporting by Joanna Plucinska and Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk; Editing by Edmund Blair

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