The European Investment Bank (EIB), the long-term financing institution of the European Union (EU), is making available to Institut Catalá de Finances (ICF) a global loan for EUR 20 million (ESP 3.3 billion)(1) for financing small and medium-scale investment projects undertaken by private enterprises in Catalonia.

This is the fourth loan of this type granted by the EIB to Institut Catalá de Finances in the past three years. Like the others, it will be deployed to finance projects meeting any of the following EU objectives: improving the productivity and competitiveness of SMEs and integrating them into European industry; more efficient energy use and the development or diversification of energy sources; environmental protection and reduction of pollution.

The EIB was created in 1958 by the founding treaty of the European Economic Community, the Treaty of Rome. It was set up to contribute to the integrated and balanced development of the Member States, as well as to their economic and social cohesion, by providing long-term finance for capital investment fulfilling EU objectives. Global loans are essentially lines of credit opened with banks and other national, regional or local financial intermediaries, which deploy the proceeds in the form of sub-loans targeted in favour of small and medium-scale investment schemes meeting the EIB's eligibility criteria.

(1) 1 EUR = 166.386 ESP; 0.613400 GBP.