EIB and Montepio make available 150 million EUR in support of SMEs and midcaps
Building on long-standing and fruitful cooperation between the two institutions, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a EUR 150 million loan to Caixa Económica Montepio Geral (Montepio) to finance small and medium-sized projects mainly undertaken by SMEs and midcaps. The loan agreement was signed in Lisbon today.
For SMEs in particular, access to credit has become difficult since the beginning of the economic crisis. Even medium-sized companies, so-called midcaps with up to 3,000 employees, are faced with major funding challenges. The majority of the loan will therefore 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, research and development, and infrastructure.
Thanks to its cooperation with Montepio, the EIB can channel new finance into Portugal’s productive sectors on favourable terms, with long maturities, flexible disbursement schedules and low interest rates. This loan represents a further step in the EIB’s commitment to supporting small and medium-sized businesses, as accessing credit is vital for SMEs to be able to get through this long economic crisis.
The loan will have a positive impact on economic activity and will help to increase the productivity of the final beneficiaries. Most of the projects eligible for financing will be located in convergence areas in Portugal, contributing also to economic and social cohesion. The EIB will finance investment projects costing up to EUR 25 million in the case of SMEs and up to EUR 50 million in the case of midcaps in Portugal.
Financing small businesses is one of the EIB’s investment priorities. Last year alone, the EIB and its subsidiary the European Investment Fund provided a record amount of around EUR 22 billion for SMEs and midcaps, benefiting some 230 000 companies across Europe. In Portugal, it made available EUR 595 million in 2013 for new credit lines designed to finance the investment projects of SMEs and midcaps.