According to an official in the office of the secretary of state for tourism, 76 companies have requested financing via this instrument, with the selection of candidates to take place between now and 13 September. Meanwhile, “the appropriate portfolio of bonds is being set up, and then the structuring and placement of the issue” will take place by 15 October.
Applications for the loans have been welcomed since 17 June, with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as mid-caps – businesses with up to 3,000 employees – eligible.
This is, according to the same official, the "first bond loan launched in Portugal accessible to SMEs", with a maturity of seven years and financing of up to €15 million per company, with a 30% public guarantee arranged through the Fundo de Contragarantia Mútuo.
In June, in comments to Lusa, the minister for the economy, Pedro Siza Vieira, explained that the bond issue was aimed at Portuguese and foreign institutional investors such as investment and pension funds, with the interest rates to be defined later.
"We have been working on this for a few months, assembling the necessary structure for this purpose, launching studies to prepare the operation and testing the appetite of the market," said the minister, asked about choosing the height to launch the issue.
"Let's see if we can launch these operations in other sectors,” he said. “This will be the first time we are doing these group operations aimed at SMEs."
He cited industry as a potential candidate for another group bond loan.
"What we have seen are bonds emissions by large companies because the costs associated … are usually very high and are only justified for very significant amounts," he explained.
Siza Vieira also noted that this type of operation "obliges issuers to provide a set of information and ensure a set of requirements that it is usually difficult for SMEs to achieve on their own" but that there is a need to ensure that they have access to forms of finance other than bank loans.