>@EIB/To be defined

The European Investment Bank (EIB) announces a EUR 300 million loan to Banco BPI for financing investment projects throughout Portugal mainly undertaken by SMEs and midcaps. The loan agreement was signed in Lisbon today by EIB Vice-President Román Escolano and by the CEO of Banco BPI, Fernando Ulrich.

Most of the loan will serve to finance investments promoted by SMEs and midcaps, but part of it could also be allocated to other entities promoting projects in different sectors of industry and services. The EIB loan may support youth employment, research and development, higher education and agriculture. The EIB will finance up to 100% of the total project cost for SMEs and midcaps (with a maximum of EUR 12.5 million per project) and up to 50% for other types of projects. It is foreseen that around 80% of the total loan amount will be allocated to projects in convergence regions.

The EIB loan, which will be matched by a further EUR 300 million of credit by BPI, will provide long-term funding on attractive terms that BPI will pass on to the end borrowers. This loan has been granted under the Bank’s policy of supporting the economic development of small and medium-sized businesses fostering sustainable and economic growth that result in job creation.

This credit line builds upon previous EIB loans to BPI and will strengthen the long-standing cooperation between the two institutions.  Furthermore it may be blended with Jessica financing schemes across Portugal, supporting urban renewal and energy efficiency/renewable energy projects, as well as potentially with schemes integrated in initiatives launched by the EIB Group in cooperation with the European Commission under Horizon 2020 and COSME.

Financing small businesses is one of the EIB’s investment priorities. Last year alone, the EIB and its subsidiary the European Investment Fund provided a record amount of around EUR 22 billion for SMEs and midcaps, benefiting some 230 000 companies across Europe. In Portugal, it made available EUR 595 million in 2013 for new credit lines designed to finance the investment projects of SMEs and midcaps.