The European Investment Bank (EIB) and four rural banks – Bantierra, Caja Rural de Granada, Caja Rural de Navarra and Caja Rural de Teruel – have signed an agreement for EUR 90 million to finance investment and working capital projects for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs – firms with up to 250 employees) and midcaps (up to 3 000 employees).

This funding aims to promote lending to a segment of SMEs and midcaps not usually covered by banking intermediaries, extending coverage to SMEs in rural areas whose operations focus on agriculture and primary industry.

The EIB loan will help Spain to finance investment projects of up to EUR 25 million for SMEs and up to EUR 50 million for midcaps. The EIB’s funds will finance projects primarily in the agri-food, industry and services sectors; it is envisaged that a significant percentage of the SMEs receiving assistance will be in convergence regions.

Support for SMEs is one of the EIB’s priorities. The agreement signed today forms part of the Bank’s collaboration with the European Association of Co-operative Banks, whose goal is to promote the economic development of small and medium-sized enterprises by providing resources on favourable terms, in relation to maturity and interest rates.

The EIB funding has been provided through underwriting a securitisation of mortgage loans, helping to revitalise this instrument on the market.

In 2013 the European Investment Bank provided EUR 4 836 million for new credit lines to finance investment projects to more than 47 000 SMEs and midcaps.