The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing CBC Bank with aEUR 40 million(1) global loan for supporting small and medium-scale ventures in the education and health sectors. The corresponding finance contract was signed by Philippe Marlier and Ignace Temmerman, Acting Managing Directors of CBC, and EIB President Philippe Maystadt.

This dedicated global loan was designed to meet specific needs in the education sector. Accordingly, more than half of the total amount is earmarked for deployment by private schools in the French-speaking part of Belgium for financing infrastructure schemes, such as the renovation or construction of buildings, purchase of IT equipment, etc. The balance is intended to be utilised for funding projects in the health sector mounted inter alia by private and public hospitals, clinics, homes for the disabled.

This is the first EIB global loan made available to CBC Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of KBC Bank born of the merger of Crédit Général and the Walloon branches of Cera Bank in 1998. CBC employs some 1 300 staff in 120 outlets in Wallonia and Bruxelles.

Applications for financing should be addressed directly to CBC's branches or to the Department for the Public and Non-Market Sector, 5 Grand-Place, 1000 Brussels.

The health and education sectors have been eligible for EIB financing since 1997, following the Amsterdam European Council's Resolution on Growth and Employment.The EIB has previously made available "Health and Education" global loans totalling EUR 50 million to two financial institutions in Belgium. These were deployed in support of a range of different ventures, including the purchase of medical equipment for laboratories and hospitals and the financing of school buildings.In Europe, the EIB has to date devoted finance totalling some EUR 6.4 billion to these two sectors, including EUR 1.4 billion for individual projects in education, EUR 2 billion for health and EUR 2.9 billion for onlending under global loans.

(1) 1 EUR = 40.3399 BEF, 0.6148 GBP