The European Investment Bank is providing EUR 220 million to Veneto Banca for the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in industry, services, tourism, environmental improvement, strengthening of human capital and high technology. In addition, the facility will support public and private sector investment in small and medium-sized projects in infrastructure, energy, and environment.

Investments envisaged will be located mostly in North-Eastern Italy. Up to EUR 20 million will contribute to projects in Romania, an acceding country to the EU, via Banca Italo-Romena, a subsidiary of Veneto Banca.

Globally, at least 70% of the facility will be dedicated for leasing and long and medium-term financing schemes supporting investments of SMEs (up to 250 staff), with a particular focus on those with up to 100 staff. Loans to individual project promoters will be made available within 18 months.

The operation Claris Finance 2006 is structured through a newly established special purpose vehicle (SPV) buying from Veneto Banca a portfolio of performing mortgage loans, and issuing mortgage backed securities (EUR 300 million). The entire EUR 220 million class A1 senior (AAA-rated) securities from the SPV are purchased by the EIB. Investors purchase the other classes of securities. The proceeds are transferred to Veneto Banca as payment for the mortgage loans portfolio. Veneto Banca will use the funds to finance SMEs eligible investments.

Claris Finance 2006 was structured by BNP Paribas and Finanziaria Internazionale, in cooperation with the EIB.