Building upon a long-standing and fruitful cooperation between the two institutions, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a EUR 100 million loan to Banco Popular Portugal to finance small and medium-sized projects undertaken by SMEs and midcaps. Banco Popular Portugal will match this amount with at least a further EUR 100 million. The loan agreement was signed today.

For SMEs in particular, access to credit has become difficult since the beginning of the crisis. Even medium-sized companies, the so-called mid-caps with up to 3,000 employees, are faced with major funding challenges. The loan will therefore serve to finance investments promoted by SMEs and midcaps promoting job creation, international competitiveness, energy saving, environmental protection, research and development.

The EIB loan granted to Banco Popular Portugal will facilitate new finance for Portugal’s productive sectors on favourable terms, with long maturities, flexible disbursement schedules and low interest rates. Banco Popular Portugal will pass these benefits on to SMEs. This loan represents a further step in the EIB’s commitment to supporting small and medium-sized businesses, as accessing credit is vital for SMEs to be able to get through this long economic crisis.

The loan will have a positive impact on economic activity and will help to increase the productivity of the final beneficiaries. Most of the projects eligible for financing will be located in convergence areas in Portugal, also contributing to economic and social cohesion.