The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR 400 million loan agreement with BBVA designed to finance the investment projects of SMEs (firms with up to 250 employees) and midcaps (firms with up to 3000 employees), mainly in the industrial and service sectors.

The projects eligible for financing will be located mainly in Spain and to a lesser degree in other EU countries. Around 30% of the funds will be earmarked for investment in convergence regions.

Supporting SMEs, the driving force of job creation and economic recovery, is the EIB’s top investment priority. BBVA will match the EIB loan with the same amount, meaning that a total of EUR 800 million will be made available to finance such projects.

The EIB loan will provide these companies with long-term finance for their investment projects and credit lines on favourable terms to fund their working capital requirements of more than two years. The subloans will 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.

This credit line builds on previous EIB loans to BBVA and will strengthen the existing relations between the two institutions.

In 2013, the EIB Group (including the European Investment Fund) supported SMEs and midcaps to the tune of EUR 21 900 million (EUR 18 500 million of which came from the EIB), benefiting some 230 000 firms throughout Europe. In Spain, the EIB provided EUR 4 836 million worth of new credit lines for financing the investment projects of more than 45 000 such firms.