Today in Milan the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a EUR 200 million contract with Finlombarda, the finance company of the Lombardy Region, for financing small and medium-sized regional businesses (SMEs). The signing ceremony was attended by EIB Vice-President Dario Scannapieco, who is responsible for operations in Italy, Malta and the Western Balkans, and the President of the Lombardy Region, Roberto Formigoni.
This EIB loan will serve to finance ongoing working capital requirements, the acquisition of tangible assets and investment in intangible assets up to a maximum of EUR 12.5 million per project. Its flexible conditions will also make it possible to finance other types of requirement of Lombardy’s small businesses.
The loan will target companies with fewer than 250 employees (the EU definition of an SME), which will be able to benefit from the funding advantage of the EIB, whose issues are rated AAA by the three international rating agencies.
Support for SME projects is one of the traditional areas of the EU bank’s activity and the operation signed today constitutes the second instalment of a total EUR 530 million loan to the Region, of which the first EUR 330 million instalment signed in December 2009 helped to finance regional infrastructure under Lombardy’s 2007-2013 regional operational programme.
The European Investment Bank supports the strategic and policy objectives of the European Union by granting long-term loans for economically viable investment projects. The EIB’s shareholders are the 27 EU Member States. Italy is one of the four leading shareholders, along with the United Kingdom, Germany and France, each holding a 16.2% stake in the Bank.