The European Investment Bank (EIB), the long-term financing institution of the European Union (EU), is contributing EUR 20 million to the creation of a specialist venture capital fund targeting high-tech sectors. Set up jointly by the EIB and AMENA, the fund Inversiones en Telecomunicaciones FCR has potential capital of EUR 60 million (ESP 10 billion) (1).

The new fund's purpose is to acquire stakes mainly in small and medium-sized enterprises (independent, with up to 500 employees). In order to qualify, enterprises based in Spain or any other EU country must conduct their business in one of the following sectors: telecommunications, systems engineering, the Internet, multimedia software, information technology or hardware components.

AMENA's shareholders (Retevisión S.A., Telecom Italia, among others) provide the company with a wide experience in the IT field. Following an agreement with AMENA, management is entrusted to Ahorro Corporación Desarrollo S.G.E.C.R.(2), S.A., a venture capital fund company.

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.Under its Amsterdam Special Action Programme (ASAP) to promote employment, the EIB is developing new financial products aimed at high-tech or growth-oriented SMEs, with a view to harnessing their strong potential for creating stable jobs. To this end, the Bank has established the European Technology Facility, managed by the European Investment Fund, as well as setting up venture capital funds jointly with EU Member States' institutions.Owned by the EU Member States, the EIB raises the resources for its lending operations on the capital markets, where its bond issues are consistently rated AAA.

(1) EUR 1 = ESP 166.386.

(2) S.G.E.C.R. = Sociedad Gestora de Entidades de Capital Riesgo.