>@EIB/To be defined

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved the provision of a EUR 200m credit line to Ibercaja Banco for financing investment projects promoted by SMEs and midcaps (up to 3 000 employees) in the industrial and service sectors in Spain.  The first EUR 50m tranche of this loan was signed this morning in Zaragoza.

At the signing ceremony, EIB Vice-President Román Escolano stated, “thanks to this initial financing agreement with Ibercaja Banco, EIB funding will reach a greater number of businesses, enabling new investment projects to be undertaken by a vital sector of the country's productive fabric. In short, with the conclusion of this new operation, the EIB is furthering its firm commitment to facilitate access to finance for SMEs and midcaps and thus to boost economic recovery and job creation."

The EIB loan provides finance on favourable conditions in terms of maturities and interest rates, which Ibercaja will pass on to the final beneficiaries. Ibercaja will match the EIB financing with a further EUR 50m, meaning that a total of EUR 100m will be made available to small businesses and midcaps.

The funds will mainly serve to finance investment in the industrial and service sectors. The projects eligible for financing under this credit line will mainly be located in Spain. The individual loans granted by Ibercaja may be used to finance new capital investment or leasing projects costing up to EUR 25m in the case of SMEs and up to EUR 50m in the case of midcaps. The funds may also be used to finance the working capital of such businesses.

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