Eurobank has joined the International Finance Corporation (IFC)’s Global Trade Finance Programme (GTFP), scoring a €100mn trade finance facility.

The bank will use the loan to boost its trade finance activity and competitiveness, focusing on export-related business, by providing risk mitigation for individual trade transactions through GTFP’s growing network of issuing and confirming banks.

“The agreement is part of our initiative to restore the Greek economy, and will benefit both entrepreneurs, who are struggling to remain competitive globally under unfavourable conditions, and the bank,” says Eurobank CEO Fokion Karavias. “Having returned to profitability, we prioritise supporting the Greek economy.”

The economy took a dive in 2015, with both exports and imports falling sharply from 2014 levels. Last summer the government imposed capital controls when negotiating bailout conditions with its international lenders. While not fully lifted, capital controls have gradually eased since then.

Eurobank is the first Greek bank to sign up to the GTFP. Eurobank’s subsidiaries in countries such as Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria have been benefiting from it since 2010, receiving over US$1bn in cumulative trade finance support.

In 2015, the IFC became a minority shareholder in Eurobank Group and participated in the recapitalisation of Greece’s four main banks, acquiring €150mn worth of shares to restore stability and investor confidence in the struggling banking sector. Greek banks have also received support from multilateral banks such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

In other loan-related news benefiting Europe, IFC signed a €30mn loan to a French-based originator and processor of grains, the Soufflet Group, to support the group’s long-term investment programme and boost agribusiness in Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, and Ukraine.

The financing will go towards supporting local farmers expanding their activities as well as opening opportunities for smaller businesses, including independent grain elevators, importers of agricultural inputs, and transportation companies.