With the approval of  the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) Board of Directors at their meeting today, the EIB Group’s support for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and mid-cap companies in the European Union reaches EUR 21.2 billion for 2013, including EUR 2.85 billion from the European Investment Fund (EIF).

EIB President Werner Hoyer stated: “I am proud to announce that the EIB Group has now delivered more than EUR 20 billion to support European SMEs and mid-cap companies this year. This is more than we had expected and it shows that the EIB Group remains strongly committed to the creation of jobs and growth in the EU.”

Today, the EIB’s Board of Directors approved loans worth up to EUR 4.31 billion for the benefit of SMEs and mid-cap companies in the European Union. Of the loans approved, up to EUR 1.35 billion will go to projects in Italy and up to EU 1.5 billion to projects in Spain.

In addition, a framework loan of EUR 125 million was approved to support public sector investment in education and training, basic infrastructure and RDI sectors aimed at job creation and fostering the knowledge economy in the Spanish region of Extremadura.

Moreover, the EIB continues to put strong emphasis on its other priority areas. In the field of research, development and innovation (RDI), the board approved loans for projects worth up to EUR 1.43 billion in order to strengthen the competitiveness of the European economy. For example, the EIB will provide EUR 50 million for a project by Kemira in Finland supporting research, development and innovation related to chemical and technical solutions for water treatment. Another project will provide Borealis with EUR 150 million to finance product innovation in advanced polymers in Austria, Finland and Sweden.

The board also approved new loans worth up to EUR 3.42 billion to promote strategic infrastructure in Europe. Out of this, EUR 1.46 billion will go to Poland: EUR 788 million for the S7 Expressway Gdansk-Warsaw-Krakow, EUR 202 million for the S8 Expressway Warsaw-Bialystok, EUR 350 million for the extension and modernisation of electricity distribution networks, and EUR 120 million for the construction of the Lwowek-Odolanow gas pipeline. 

Projects supporting resource efficiency were approved by the Board for a value of up to EUR 1.3 billion.

The Board of Directors of the European Investment Fund approved 16 new operations on November 18 through which EIF will continue supporting SMEs. These deals represent EIF commitments of EUR 285 million and are expected to leverage EUR 900 million of capital.