EIB and Banco BPI: EUR 300m for SMEs and midcaps in Portugal
- Release date: 07 December 2012
- Reference: 2012-193-EN
Building upon a long-standing and fruitful cooperation between the two institutions, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a EUR 300 million loan to Banco BPI to finance small and medium-sized projects throughout Portugal mainly undertaken by SMEs and midcaps. The loan agreement was signed in Lisbon today by EIB Vice-President Magdalena Álvarez and by the CEO of Banco BPI, Fernando Ulrich.
At the signing ceremony, Vice-President Magdalena Álvarez said that “the EIB is delighted to sign this loan, which is an immediate demonstration of the value of the Portfolio Guarantee signed this morning with the Portuguese Republic. It will provide small businesses with access to credit on favourable terms, hence fostering growth and employment, which are much needed in the current economic environment”.
CEO Fernando Ulrich said that “the new credit line, anchored in the long standing relationship between the EIB and BPI, would not have been possible without the support that the Portuguese Government has decided to provide in order to ensure a continued EIB contribution to the funding of priority projects in Portugal, notably those carried out by SMEs; in Portugal, BPI has been at the forefront of such efforts and this new and well-timed EIB loan will enable the Bank to further step up its contribution to SME financing under attractive conditions”.
The majority of the loan will serve to finance investments promoted by SMEs and midcaps, but part of it could also be allocated to other entities promoting projects covering mainly energy saving, environmental protection, i2i, and infrastructure. The EIB will finance up to 100% of the total project cost for SMEs and midcaps (with a maximum of EUR 12.5 million per project) and up to 50% for other types of projects. In parallel, the funds can also be used to complement other EIB Group initiatives, such as Jessica, which mainly supports urban renewal and energy efficiency/renewable energy (EE/RE) projects to be carried out by private companies or public-sector entities. The loan provides for the possibility of its blending with a Risk Sharing Instrument managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF) on behalf of the EIB, in cooperation with the EU Commission.
In 2011, the EIB Group provided a record EUR 13 billion worth of loans for small and medium-sized businesses, reaching more than 120,000 companies throughout Europe.
As an EU objective, supporting SMEs is one of the EIB’s investment priorities. This loan comes under the EIB and Banco BPI’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.