The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a new EUR 1 billion loan to Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) to facilitate access to bank credit for SMEs (firms with up to 250 employees) and midcaps (firms with up to 3000 employees) to finance their investments in the industrial and service sectors and their liquidity needs. This is the EIB’s second EUR 1 billion loan to ICO since November 2013. The loan agreement was signed today in Madrid by EIB Vice-President Magdalena Álvarez and the CEO of ICO, Román Escolano.

This EIB loan will channel credit to these firms at favourable interest rates to finance both their long-term investment and working capital requirements of more than two years. Under the agreement, ICO will match the EIB loan with the same amount, meaning that a total of EUR 2 billion will be made available to finance the investment projects of smaller businesses.

This loan will be used to finance investment projects costing up to EUR 25 million in the case of SMEs and up to EUR 50 million in the case of midcaps, in Spain. Around 20% of the total loan amount will be earmarked for projects in convergence regions.

In 2013, the EIB Group (including the European Investment Fund) provided EUR 21 900 million (EUR 18 500 million of which came from the EIB) to finance some 230 000 SMEs and midcaps throughout Europe. In Spain, the EIB made available credit lines totalling EUR 4 836 million in support of over 45 000 firms.