The European Investment Bank's (EIB) is to provide loan financing for investments by small and medium-sized enterprises in Sweden under a Global Loan agreement signed today in Stockholm with Swedbank for the amount of Swedish Kronor 400 million / EUR 45 million(1).

The EIB finance will support small and medium sized projects in industry and infrastructure with a special focus on environmental protection, advanced technology, rational use of energy sources and health & education.

EIB loan financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is organised through Global Loans schemes where the EIB makes medium and long term credit facilities available to financial intermediaries in each country throughout the EU. These intermediaries select the projects based on agreed criteria. The Global Loans scheme combines the EIB's funding at favourable terms and the national intermediary's close relationship and knowledge of the local market.

EIB Vice President Ewald Nowotny announced the signature of this new facility, saying that "the EIB welcomes this opportunity to increase our collaboration with Swedbank. The EIB is firmly committed to co-operating with the Swedish/Nordic banking sector . This EIB/Swedbank Global Loan will, in addition with other EIB Global Loans currently in place with other Nordic institutions, widen SME access to medium and long term financing throughout the region".

The AAA-rated European Investment Bank (EIB), the financial arm of the European Union, contributes by means of its long-term loans towards the integration and balanced development of its Member States as well as in countries outside the Union. 

In Sweden, the EIB has extended loans totalling over SEK 35 billion for infrastructure investments, notably roads, railroads, bridges and telecommunication as well as investments within the energy, environment and the industry sector. In addition to large projects, the EIB has financed small and medium-sized public and private investments through credit lines (Global Loans) to financial intermediaries. 

(1) EUR 1 = SEK 9.02 at 19.04.2001