State support for three-point bank interest rates: new measures

State support for three-point bank interest rates: new measures

by Sofiene WERIEMI

expert accountant

UCCA Partner Audit and Audit

This is one of the mechanisms introduced by Law No. 2019-47 of May 29, 2019 on improving the investment climate to support investment. It is a feature that is still ignored by the majority of Tunisian companies and businessmen who either lack information or receive poor support to take advantage of this mechanism.

As a reminder, Article 21 of Law No. 2019-47 of May 29, 2019 related to improving the investment climate stipulates that the state bears the difference between the interest rate on investment loans and the average money market rate within the three-point limit, and this, for loans granted by banks and institutions Finance in favor of small and medium enterprises in the agricultural sector and other productive sectors except for the trade sector, the financial sector, the real estate sector and the real estate sector. The hydrocarbons and mining sector, without a profit margin applied by banks and financial institutions, exceeds the rate of 3.5%.

Paragraph 2 of the said Article adds that this procedure applies to investment credits granted from January 1, 2019 until the end of December 2020. This period has been extended under the provisions of the Finance Law 2022. Paragraph 2 of the new Article 21 states that this procedure applies to credits and investment financing Granted from January 1, 2019 until the end of December 2022.

The new Presidential Decree implementing this measure was published in the JORT on June 10, 2022 and bears the number 2022-536.

Conditions for obtaining state support

Eligible companies

Eligible companies are small and medium enterprises as defined in the provisions of Article 1Verse From the new Presidential Decree No. 2022-536 of June 7, 2022.

The definition used depends on the total declared investment.

So the eligible SMEs are:

  • Its declared investment cost (investment and mentorship investment within the meaning of the Investment Law) including the need for working capital ranges between 150 thousand and 15 million dinars and;
  • Active in the agricultural sector and other productive sectors except for the trade sector, the financial sector, the real estate development sector, the hydrocarbon sector and mining;
  • After submitting (a) investment declaration(s) with the respective services;
  • That the financial statements be certified by the auditor for the expansion of investment operations. The financial statements certified by the auditor are among the documents required by the provisions of Article 6 of the Governmental Decree 2019-1178 and the new Republican Resolution No. 536-2022 for the extension of investment files..

Eligible credits

The credits eligible for the new coverage measure are investment and financing credits:

  • granted by banks and financial institutions and;
  • From January 1, 2019 until the end of December 2022 and;
  • Without a profit margin applied by banks and financial institutions, the rate exceeds 3.5%.

A new clarification is provided by the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 536-2022: The date of registration of the credit agreement or financing agreement is considered in the financing income to determine the date of granting credit. Financing, money market interest rate and profit margin applicable to financing operations in connection with Islamic banking operations.

Procedures

The advantage is granted by a decision of the Minister responsible for the industry after approval of the committee formed for this purpose.

The committee formed in the ministry in charge of industry, headed by the Minister of Industry and Small and Medium Enterprises or his representative, consists of:

  • A representative of the Ministry in charge of Industry and Small and Medium Enterprises.
  • A representative of the Ministry in charge of Finance.
  • A representative of the ministry responsible for economy and planning.
  • A representative of the Central Bank of Tunisia.
  • A representative of the Tunisian Professional Association of Banks and Financial Institutions (despite the recent change in the name of this professional body)

The application for benefiting from the advantage, accompanied by the required documents, will be submitted by the bank or financial institution with the Directorate General of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion at the ministry responsible for the industry.

The response times stipulated in the new Presidential Decree No. 536-2022 must be respected.

The new presidential decree states that requests to take advantage of the benefit cannot be accepted after June 30, 2023.

A final clarification has been provided by the new Presidential Decree on Islamic Banking Operations. For these operations, the advantage can only be granted if the bank undertakes in the financing contract, throughout the repayment period, to revise the profit margin applicable to the financing, provided that the difference between the rate applicable to the financing and the money market average of the percentage does not exceed 3.5%. The Central Bank of Tunisia and the Secretariat of the Steering Committee have been notified of this amendment.

Publication date: 06/11/22 10:17

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