23-11-2012 — /europawire.eu/ — The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a EUR 500 million loan to Spain’s Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) to finance on favourable terms the investment projects and working capital of small and medium-sized businesses, mainly in the industrial and service sectors. ICO will match the EIB loan with the same amount, meaning that a total of EUR 1 billion will be pumped into the small business sector. The loan agreement was signed in Luxembourg this morning by EIB Vice-President Magdalena Álvarez and ICO’s Chairman, Román Escolano.
This EIB loan will be used to finance small and medium-scale projects carried out by SMEs, mainly in convergence regions in Spain, where small businesses are key to safeguarding and creating jobs, and the European Union. It will also support projects contributing to energy saving and diversification and promote private enterprise in the health and education sectors.
This credit line follows on from the SME loan signed with ICO in June 2012, providing small businesses with access to credit on preferential terms and underlining the EIB’s strong support for Spain’s economic recovery. The previous credit line has been used in full to help finance a total of 12 863 investment projects, mainly in the automotive (3 221 projects), manufacturing (2 046 projects) and transport (1 949 projects) sectors.
This is the EIB’s fifth SME financing loan to ICO in operations of this type totalling EUR 2.5 billion (EUR 5 billion with ICO’s matching finance) and follows on from numerous other credit lines in a relationship that goes back to 1986, proving once again that the two institutions are working hard together to facilitate SMEs’ access to finance in the midst of the economic crisis.
As an EU objective, supporting SMEs is one of the EIB’s investment priorities. This loan comes under the EIB and ICO’s policy of assisting small businesses in the current economic crisis by facilitating their access to credit with long maturities, flexible disbursement schedules and low interest rates, so ensuring their sustainability and fostering job creation.
Matilde Del Valle Serrano
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