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The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Banco Popular have signed a EUR 250 million loan for financing SMEs (firms with up to 250 employees) and midcaps (firms with up to 3000 employees). Under the agreement, Banco Popular will match the loan with the same amount, meaning that a total of EUR 500 million will be made available for financing small businesses.

EIB Vice-President Román Escolano stressed "the importance of this type of operation for the Spanish economy at a time when supporting small and medium-sized businesses is key to consolidating the economic recovery and fostering job creation". He also underlined "the excellent cooperation between the EIB and Banco Popular, which is a vital means of continuing to make progress towards those objectives".

These funds will be made available to small and medium-sized businesses in a broad range of economic sectors and will be granted on highly favourable interest rate and maturity terms, so boosting economic activity and employment.

This operation follows on from previous loan agreements between the EIB and Banco Popular for financing SMEs, fostering innovation and funding firms in the agri-food sector.