VALLETTA, May 19 (Xinhua) -- The state-owned Malta Development Bank (MDB) on Thursday launched a subsidised loan scheme worth 30 million euros (31.8 million U.S. dollars) to ensure the security of grain supply.
The scheme was greenlighted by the European Commission on Wednesday.
The bank, which is tasked with contributing towards sustainable economic development that benefits the Maltese people, said in a statement that it will introduce further measures in the coming weeks.
"This support measure is intended to ensure the security of supply of grains, animal feeds and related products of strategic importance by assisting importers and wholesalers through the provision of temporary liquidity support," the bank said in its statement.
It said it was committed to assisting importers and wholesalers to stock reserves of wheat and animal feeds for a longer than normal period. Such abnormal stock piling at the prevailing higher prices required substantial liquidity at short notice.
The MDB was appointed by the government to take immediate remedial action by providing urgent liquidity support in the form of direct subsidized loans to the country's major grain importers.
The MDB's scheme offers a portfolio of up to 30 million euros in loans to grain importers for a term of two years with an interest rate subsidy of up to 2 percent.
The bank said that future schemes will support businesses that face liquidity issues as a result of the crisis in Ukraine. The MDB will be offering de-risking instruments to enable the provision of more accessible and affordable working capital loans, thus reducing the impact on the affected economic operators. (1 euro=1.06 U.S. dollars) ■