The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's long-term financing institution, has advanced a EUR 237 mln global loan to Cardine Banca S.p.A., the parent company of one Italy's medium sized banking groups with strong deposit and lending franchises in central and north-eastern Italy.

The financing will support projects in industry and services promoted by SMEs throughout Italy, as well as small and medium-sized projects in infrastructure, energy and environmental protection.

The loan will be advanced in two tranches, respectively intermediated by Cardine Leasing S.p.A; (EUR 140 mln) and by regional banks subsidiaries of Cardine Banca: Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo , Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna, Cassa di Risparmio di Venezia, Banca Popolare dell'Adriatico, Cassa di Risparmio di Udine e Pordenone, Banca Agricola di Cerea and Cassa di Risparmio di Gorizia (EUR 97 mln).

The financing will sustain projects contributing to increase the productivity and competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises, promote investments leading to a more rational use of energy and support projects concerned with environmental protection and reduction of pollution. Furthermore, the global loan will promote small and medium-sized infrastructure investments, including projects in the health and education sectors.

Established in early 2000, Cardine Banca is the result of the merger of Casse Venete and Casse Emiliane Romagnole - Caer, the former holding companies of, among other banks, Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo, and Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna, respectively.