>@EIB/To be defined

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Kutxabank have signed a EUR 200 million loan agreement to finance SMEs (firms with up to 250 employees) and midcaps (firms with up to 3 000 employees). The EIB funds will be earmarked for financing investment mainly in the industrial and service sectors and will have a positive impact on economic activity and employment.

Kutxabank will match the EIB loan with the same amount, meaning that total finance of EUR 400 million will be made available. The individual loans will finance projects costing up to EUR 25 million in the case of SMEs and up to EUR 50 million in the case of midcaps.

EIB Vice-President Román Escolano said that “this loan agreement represents a further demonstration of the European Investment Bank’s firm support for small and medium-sized businesses, which form the backbone of our productive fabric and are therefore key to taking the process of economic recovery forward”.

Kutxabank’s President Gregorio Villalabeitia added that “with this agreement we are seeking to ensure that no viable project remains unfinanced, as it will provide favourable access to finance in terms of both rates and maturities. It is therefore an operation that fits in perfectly with our business strategy of supporting Euskadi’s entrepreneurial fabric”.

In 2014, the EIB Group (including the European Investment Fund) provided EUR 25 500 million in support of some 290 000 SMEs and midcaps throughout Europe. In Spain, the EIB made available EUR 7 603 million in new credit lines for SMEs, benefiting more than 62 000 such firms.