The European Investment Bank (EIB) and CaixaBank have today signed a EUR 300 million loan contract to finance investment and working capital projects promoted by SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and midcaps. In addition to the EUR 300 million provided by the EIB, CaixaBank is undertaking to invest the same amount, bringing the total amount of finance to be made available to this segment of the market to EUR 600 million.

The funds will mainly finance the investment projects of SMEs (firms with up to 250 employees) and midcaps (firms with up to 3 000 employees) in the industrial and services sectors. The EIB funding will help create jobs, increase the productivity and competitiveness of the beneficiary firms, improve energy efficiency and/or diversification of energy sources, and promote private initiatives in the education and health sectors.

Supporting SMEs, the key drivers of job creation and economic recovery, is the EIB’s top investment priority. The EIB loan will provide these companies with long-term finance for their investment projects and credit lines at favourable interest rates to fund their working capital requirements of more than two years.

Projects eligible for financing will mainly be located in Spain. It is envisaged that around 30% of the funds will go to projects in convergence regions.

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 47 000 such firms.