Spain: EIB and Caja Navarra sign agreement to pump EUR 300 million into SMEs
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a EUR 150 million loan to Caja Navarra (CAN) designed to create a new credit line for financing small businesses. Under the agreement, CAN will match the EIB loan with a further EUR 150 million, meaning that EUR 300 million will be pumped into the SME sector. The loan contract was signed in Pamplona this morning by EIB Vice-President Carlos da Silva Costa and the Director General of Caja Navarra, Enrique Goñi.
At the signing ceremony, the EIB Vice-President emphasised the “the innovative nature of this credit line, which is one of the first EIB loans in Spain enabling the financing of working capital. The EIB and Caja Navarra are working together to help small businesses, seeking formulas that meet their needs in the current crisis”.
Enrique Goñi added “as a civic bank, it is our duty to stand by our customers. It is no coincidence that SMEs account for 40% of our balance sheet, and in the current economic circumstances we have to do everything possible to provide them with the necessary finance. And that is what today’s agreement does”.
This credit line for SMEs follows on from CAN’s previous initiatives, such as the business financing cooperation agreements with Navarra’s Confederation of Industry and Chamber of Commerce, ANEL, and the governments of Navarra and the Basque Country.
The EIB loan is designed to finance SME investment projects mainly in the industrial and service sectors, but also intangibles such as the research, development and innovation (RDI) investment that is so essential to companies’ growth. It contains two important innovations: it will enable the financing of working capital over at least a two-year period, a particularly interesting possibility in view of businesses’ current liquidity needs; and up to 30% of the funds can be directed towards projects mounted by the subsidiaries of large groups, an aspect that will mainly concern the automotive components and agroindustrial sectors.
The EIB is the EU’s long-term financing institution promoting European objectives. Created in 1958, it operates in the 27 EU Member States and more than 130 countries worldwide. EIB financing operations are mounted in the framework of well defined EU policies. As an EU policy, support for European SMEs is also an investment priority of the EIB.
Caja Navarra (CAN) is a pioneer of civic banking, a strategy based on transparency and participation. Only Caja Navarra’s customers know how much the financial entity makes from them (transparency), and they can decide which social projects they wish to support with 30% of this profit (participation).
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