The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) (Official Credit Institute) have this morning in Madrid signed three loan operations amounting to a total of EUROS 1,250 million and USD 150 million.

The largest credit, amounting to EUROS 1,000 million, is a credit line that aims to improve access to financing on favourable terms regarding time-frames and prices, for projects implemented by SMEs and midcaps (firms with up to 3,000 employees), and mainly in the industrial and services sectors. The ICO will contribute a further EUROS 1,000 million, over and above the loan received from the EIB, and as a result the total volume of funds at the disposal of Spanish firms will amount to EUROS 2,000 million.

The same meeting witnessed the signing of a loan for USD 150 million, pursuant to the agreement reached in October 2014 between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). This agreement is intended to facilitate the international expansion of SMEs in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. To this end, in October 2014 the EIB and IDB reached agreement regarding the creation of various credit facilities amounting to a total value of USD 1,000 million.

In particular, the funds for the operation signed this morning between the ICO and the EIB, in the presence of IDB´s representative in Spain, will be allocated for the financing of foreign direct investment operations in Spain, in addition to supporting export activity and the globalization of Spanish companies. The ICO will complement EIB resources with a contribution of a further USD 150 million and consequently the total amount available for these activities will stand at USD 300 million.

Finally, the third operation that was signed consists of a credit line of EUR 250 million, aimed at financing investments undertaken by SMEs in Autonomous Communities requesting such assistance. Antonio Beteta, Secretary of State for Public Administrations, participated in the signing ceremony.

The EIB funds will be channelled through the ICO towards small and medium-sized enterprises in those beneficiary regions that have reached agreement with the Ministry of the Treasury and Public Administrations. In line with previous operations, the ICO will match the EIB contribution, providing a further EUR 250 million, so that the volume of resources in this case will amount to EUR 500 million.

At the signing ceremony, Román Escolano, the EIB Vice-President, stated, “Today´s signing is one more landmark in the close partnership that EIB has been fostering with the ICO, and that has intensified over the last few years. Together, the EIB and the ICO today place at the disposal of Spanish companies EUROS 2,800 million that will undoubtedly serve to lay the permanent groundwork for economic recovery and job creation. And we are doing this with new instruments that are tailored to the specific needs of small and medium-sized enterprises in various sectors or regions.”

Meanwhile, Irene Garrido, the ICO President, pointed out: “”We are mindful of the substantial progress that has been achieved in recent years through the ICO-EIB partnership. We are also aware that the new economic context deriving from the economic recovery phase that Spain has begun requires us to adapt to changing circumstances, by developing products and services that are more precisely tailored to the current financial needs facing economic transactors.”

As Antonio Beteta, the Secretary of State for Public Administrations, made clear: “This credit enjoys the support of the Ministry of the Treasury and Public Administrations in view of the evidence of the pivotal role that is played by Spanish small and medium-sized businesses in economic growth and job creation. These liquidity facilities contribute to the rationalization and improvement of Spanish firms, especially those that are small and medium-sized. The government believes that a long-term solution to the crisis, rather than an interim solution, requires the support of small and medium-sized enterprises.”