EIB and Millennium bcp sign contract to lend EUR 200 million to Portuguese SMEs
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Millennium bcp signed an agreement of EUR 200 million to finance small and medium-sized projects promoted essentially by SMEs and Mid-Cap companies. Millennium bcp is also committed to providing its own resources to beneficiary SMEs, thereby increasing the overall funding available in support of Portugal’s economy, which is undergoing a demanding adjustment program that should be mixed with measures to fuel growth an employment.
The loan deployed using EIB funds for SMEs and smaller Mid-Cap investments can cover up to 100% of the project cost and will mainly finance smaller projects in the areas of industry, tourism and services, including research and innovation, energy and environmental protection. The loan will have a positive impact on economic activity and will help to increase the productivity of the final beneficiaries, promote more rational use of energy and diversification of energy resources, as well as private initiatives in the sectors of education and health. Most of the projects eligible for financing will be located in convergence areas in Portugal, contributing also to economic and social cohesion.
This loan has been granted under the EIB’s policy of supporting the economic development of small and medium-sized businesses by providing credit on preferential terms including longer maturities, flexible disbursement schedules and lower interest rates to foster job creation. Millennium bcp will pass these improved terms on to the end borrowers.
The current loan illustrates the continuation of the successful cooperation between the EIB and Millennium bcp and follows on from numerous other credit lines in a relationship that started more than 20 years ago for the financing of SME. The present loan is being signed following the guarantee scheme signed in December last year between the EIB and the Portuguese Republic to facilitate banks’ access to EIB facilities.
The implementation of this agreement allows Millennium bcp to share efforts with the Portuguese Government and EIB to increase financing for the Portuguese economy by supporting SMEs. Furthermore, 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.
As an EU objective, supporting SMEs is one of the EIB’s investment priorities. In 2012, the EIB provided a record EUR 13 billion worth of loans for small and medium-sized businesses, reaching more than 200.000 companies throughout Europe. In Portugal that year, it made available EUR 350 million for new credit lines designed to finance the investment projects of SMEs.