The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Veneto Banca Group yesterday signed a EUR 150 million finance contract for projects to be carried out by Italian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The loans will be provided not only by Veneto Banca but also other banks in the Group (Popolare di Intra, Claris leasing, Banca Apulia and Cassa di risparmio di Fabriano e Cupramontana).

The operation is part of the EIB’s activities in support of European SMEs, an area that has expanded over the past two years in response to the international crisis and where the aim is now to back the recovery, competitiveness and innovation by firms in the local economies.

Each SME project will be eligible for finance of up to EUR 12.5 million. The individual projects will be selected and assessed by banks in the Veneto Banca Group, which also undertakes to provide SMEs with funds that will match the EIB's contribution.

This means that for SMEs located in the area served by Veneto Banca Group a total of EUR 300 million will be made available under the joint operation with the EIB.

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