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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted Banco Santander Totta a EUR 500 million loan to finance small and medium-sized projects undertaken by SMEs and midcaps. The loan agreement for the first EUR 200 million tranche was signed in Lisboa today by EIB Vice-President Román Escolano and by the President of the Executive Committee of Banco Santander Totta, António Vieira Monteiro.

SMEs (firms with up to 250 employees) and midcaps (firms with up to 3000 employees) in a broad range of productive sectors will have access to this funding with favourable interest rate and maturity terms for financing their investments and working capital.

The loan will serve to finance investments promoted by SMEs and midcaps promoting eligible projects in different sectors of industry and services. The projects eligible for financing will be located mainly in Portugal and around 80% of the funds will be earmarked for investment in convergence regions.

This is the fourth operation of this type with Banco Santander Totta and comes under the EIB’s policy of supporting small and medium-sized business as a key means of fostering sustainable growth and employment.

Financing small business is one of the EIB’s investment priorities. In 2014, the EIB Group provided a record EUR 25.5 billion for small businesses, reaching more than 290 000 companies throughout Europe. In Portugal that year, the EIB signed loan agreements totalling EUR 1 319 million including EUR 875 million for SMEs and midcaps.