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Report: 12 Argentine banks join government initiative to support SMEs

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Report: 12 Argentine banks join government initiative to support SMEs

Argentina's government is set to announce new measures to support small and medium-sized enterprises that have been hit hard by a slowdown in sales and soaring interest rates, El Cronista reported, citing unnamed sources.

The government met with bankers from 12 public banks and agreed on an initiative under which the financial institutions will discount checks for SMEs at a maximum rate of 29%.

The move expands an earlier plan which involved only Banco de la Nación Argentina, but the addition of other banks will now help the program reach SMEs across the country, the publication reported.

The other banks joining the initiative include Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, Banco de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Banco Credicoop Cooperativo Limitado, Banco de la Provincia de Córdoba SA, Banco Rioja SAU, Banco de La Pampa Sociedad de Economía Mixta, Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe SA, Nuevo Banco de Entre Ríos SA, Banco de Corrientes SA, Banco Provincia de Tierra del Fuego and Banco Provincia del Neuquén SA.

The sources said the 12 banks will contribute a total of 26.00 billion Argentine pesos in order to discount the checks.

President Mauricio Macri's government recently announced a string of measures to support SMEs, including a subsidized 10.00 billion pesos credit line of mostly short-term loans. Argentina's central bank also recently approved new measures aimed at boosting access to credit for SMEs.

As of July 2, US$1 was equivalent to 28.87 Argentine pesos.