The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided recently four loans amounting to EUR 360 million to UniCredit Leasing subsidiaries in Germany (EUR 150 million), the Czech Republic Hungary and Slovakia (EUR 70 million for each of these countries) to support  projects of SMEs via leasing schemes.

This effort of the EIB and UniCredit Leasing is in line with the Joint Action Plan of the largest multilateral lenders in Central and Eastern Europe – the EIB Group, the EBRD and the World Bank Group. These financial institutions have committed to provide up to EUR 24.5 billion lending to the SME sector hit by the economic crisis in the Member States that joined the Union after 2004, Western Balkans and Russia and Eastern Partner Countries. Out of this sum, the EIB is providing the largest part, with some EUR 11 billion in SME lending facilities in this region in 2009 and 2010. However, the EIB reached this commitment already in the first week of 2010 and will it substantially exceed it within the current year.

Mr. Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen, EIB Vice-President, commented: “Our objective is to support the real economy in Central, Southern and Eastern Europe, particularly the SME and Mid-Cap Company sector that is the major victim of the current crisis. The EIB has a record of excellent cooperation with UniCredit Leasing in order to increase the productivity and competitive capacity of this economic sector to help it better to face the current difficult times.”

Throughout the last two years, the EIB has developed a very good cooperation with UniCredit Leasing, as the overall amount of EIB intermediated loans provided jointly across the CEE region by the end of 2009 reached EUR 555 million. “The strategic partnership with the EIB enables UniCredit Leasing to constantly provide a fundamental support for SMEs and Mid-Cap Companies in the form of additional fresh funds, in an economic context in which interest rates for regular loans are still high”, stated Mr. Massimiliano Moi, CEO of UniCredit Leasing”.


The European Investment Bank (EIB)

The mission of the EIB, the European Union’s bank, is to contribute to the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the EU Member States by financing sound investments. The EIB enjoys the best possible rating on the capital markets (AAA). Therefore, it can borrow funds on the capital markets on favourable terms, which it passes on in the loans that it grants, in particular to SMEs via intermediary banks.

Through its credit lines, EIB funds finance projects up to 100% of their total costs that are usually implemented by SMEs (with fewer than 250 employees) and it funds loans, up to 50% of project costs, to mid-cap companies (with more than 250 and fewer than 3 000 employees). In this effort, the EIB cooperates with well established financing institutions, like UniCredit Leasing., that know the local market, have SMEs and mid-cap companies as their customers and dispose of a well developed network.

UniCredit Leasing

In Europe, UniCredit Leasing is strongly locally rooted offering to the market a solid team of professionals and a real operating network able to lease easily and internationally. Our products are available via direct sales, specialized vendors partners, such as manufacturers or dealers, and bank branches as we are part of UniCredit Group.
With more than 2,900 employees in 17 countries, the company has substantially strengthened and further expanded its operations in Italy, Austria and Germany, and is nowadays the undisputed leader in the growing markets of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).