The European Investment Bank (EIB) provides a loan of EUR 30 million to Investkredit Bank AG to finance investment projects of Polish companies with less than 3,000 employees (mid-cap companies).

Mid-cap companies have a leading position in several Polish industry and service sectors. In order to remain in the top league, considerable investments need to be undertaken continuously which, however, are difficult to fund out of the companies' cash flow. Since issuing shares and bonds is a possibility for only a few of them, fast economic development of mid-cap companies in Poland continues to require traditional bank products and in particular bank loans. The 6,500 mid-cap companies employ some 17% of the Polish labour force and produce about 9% of the GDP.

The EIB has a well-developed cooperation with Investkredit Bank AG of Austria that specialises in long-term and corporate financing. In the past, the EIB has provided three loans amounting to EUR 387 million to Investkredit Bank AG, supporting investment in SMEs in Austria. The current loan extends EIB cooperation with Investkredit Bank to Poland.

Under the new EIB facility, Investkredit AG plans to finance investment of Polish corporates relating to the construction of retail outlets and extension of production and warehouse capacities.

The EIB, as the European Union's long-term financing institution, has provided loans EUR 10 billion for projects in Poland since 1990. The major share of EIB lending in Poland - approximately 40% - has been directed into the transport infrastructure sector, followed by urban infrastructure (16%). EIB credit lines to banks operating in Poland financing projects of SMEs and municipalities amount to some EUR 1.5 billion.

Since the start of its operations in the new Member States and Acceding Countries (Bulgaria and Romania) in 1990, the EIB has provided more than EUR 32 billion for investment projects contributing to the modernisation of industry and infrastructure. As such, the EIB is the most significant external source of bank financing in this region.