The European Investment Bank, the European Union's financing institution, has arranged a £50 million (ECU 74 million) credit facility with the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd for supporting small and medium-sized inward investment mainly in the United Kingdom.

The finance, in the form of an EIB global loan, will be directed at supporting inward investment located essentially in assisted areas in the UK as well as in other EU countries by customers of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Ltd. (BTM), of Japan and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi (Holland) NV, Amsterdam, or through other banking subsidiaries of BTM in the EU. The facility is targeted at supporting investment primarily by small and medium-sized component manufacturers, but also SME services, supplying the major electronic and automotive industries. Such investments will help replace imports and may involve joint-ventures with European companies.

EIB President Sir Brian Unwin said: "With this facility, the EIB will be supporting a second wave of smaller-scale inward investments, following our earlier financing of large-scale projects undertaken by major groups in particular in the UK. These new schemes will contribute to job-creation and technological transfer, especially in poorer areas. One of the EIB's major objectives as the European Union's financing institution is to encourage development in the EU's less-advanced regions by supporting the activities of job-creating small and medium-sized enterprises".

The European Investment Bank, the European Union's long-term lending institution, finances capital investment furthering EU integration, in particular: regional development; trans-European networks in transport, telecoms and energy; industrial competitiveness and integration; SMEs; environmental protection; and energy security. It also operates outside the EU within the framework of the EU's co-operation external policy. Owned by the Member States, the EIB raises its funds on capital markets (AAA issuer). Sir Brian Unwin is the first British President of the institution and assumed office in 1993. In 1997, the EIB lent over ECU 26 billion, of which ECU 3.7 billion in the UK, and borrowed ECU 23 billion on capital markets.

The conversion rates used by the EIB for statistical purposes during the current quarter are those obtaining on 31/03/1998: 1 ECU = 40.98 BEF, 6.65 FRF, 0.94 GBP.