EIB continues lending to SMEs in Finland The European Investment Bank's (EIB) is to provide loan financing for investments by small and medium-sized enterprises in Finland under a Global Loan agreement with Finnvera for the amount of EUR 50 million. Finnvera, one of the principal financers of SMEs in Finland, has already three other Global Loans with the EIB that are fully utilised. Most of the allocations from these earlier Global Loans were in regional development areas (objective 1 and 2 areas), which underlines Finnvera's contribution to economic growth and employment in Finland.

EIB loan financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is organised through Global Loans schemes where the EIB makes credit lines 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 said: "The economic benefit of the transaction derives from its contribution towards the progress of SMEs in Finland. This Global Loan is intended to increase the productivity and competitive capacity of Finnish SMEs, especially for the modernisation or the development of projects of Community interest. Finnvera's focus on SME lending together with its extensive presence on the ground throughout Finland makes it a valuable Global Loan partner for EIB."

Mr Mäkinen, Managing Director of Finnvera said: "We at Finnvera are very pleased to sign this new facility with EIB ensuring the continuation of our close working relationship in the best interests of our SME clientele."

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

In Finland, the EIB has extended loans totalling over EUR 700 million 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 such as Finnvera.