On Thursday 14 January 2015 in Paris, Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Pier Luigi Gilibert, Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund (EIF), presented the results of the EIB Group's activity in France.
"2015 was a record year for the EIB Group in France", said Ambroise Fayolle, opening the press conference. "EUR 8.7 billion worth of new loans were signed in France in 2015, of which nearly half in support of climate action. This exceptional performance places France among the countries to have benefited most from EIB climate action investment. This year also saw the first Juncker Plan projects coming to fruition in France. We are mobilising more than ever to meet financing requirements - particularly for higher risk projects - and restore investors' confidence."
On the strength of its expertise and the financial attraction of its AAA rating, in 2015 the EIB Group was one of the key players in boosting investment in France where it provided just over EUR 8.7 billion worth of new loans, broken down as follows: EUR 7.9 billion from the EIB in support of projects promoting the education, energy transition, business, innovation and infrastructure upgrading sectors, and EUR 785 million from the EIF, a subsidiary of the Group dedicated to supporting SMEs and microfinance.
Exceptional performance for climate action
In the year of COP 21 and in keeping with the objectives of the Law on Energy Transition for Green Growth of August 2015, the EIB made climate action a priority and dedicated nearly half of its financing to this area (46%). This climate performance far exceeded the target (25%) set by the Bank at EU level, making France along with the United Kingdom the EU countries to have benefited most from EIB investment in this sector. Signatures included maiden operations in support of third-party financing companies for energy efficiency renovation of private housing in the Île-de-France and Picardy Regions and the first EIB loan (EUR 500 million) in support of affordable rental housing in France, involving the construction of 12 000 affordable units in housing crisis areas by 2019. A EUR 75 million loan was also signed with Crédit Coopératif in order to renovate and optimise the energy efficiency of the buildings of associations, cooperatives and other enterprises in the social and solidarity economy.
Sustainable public transport was supported in 2015 to the tune of EUR 2 billion, of which EUR 700 million went to the Île-de-France Region for the upgrading of the "Transilien" network and Lines 2, 5 and 9 of the Paris metro.
First Juncker Plan projects
For the EIB Group 2015 was the year when the Investment Plan for Europe ("Juncker Plan") was implemented, with the EUR 1.3 billion mobilised to finance the initial operations intended to act as a catalyst for raising EUR 7 billion in France. The projects financed are higher risk, the aim being to support investment in certain business sectors that are a priority for the future of Europe's economy such as energy transition, innovation development – especially by SMEs – and digital economy infrastructure.
The first Juncker Plan finance contract in Europe was signed in France in May 2015 between the EIF and Bpifrance, which will mobilise EUR 420 million in support of innovative businesses in France. Other loans of symbolic importance in the climate action sector followed, e.g. the first operations in support of third-party financing companies for energy efficiency renovation of private housing, equity participations in the first investment fund in France wholly dedicated to the "Third Industrial Revolution" in the Nord-Pas de Calais Region (EUR 20 million) and in Capenergie 3, an investment fund dedicated to renewable energy development (EUR 50 million).
Support for innovation and businesses was also at the heart of the EIB's activity in France in 2015 including support to the Franco-German start-up Qwant for the development of its European search engine and a loan for the European synchrotron in Grenoble. Thanks to the EIB Group's efforts, EUR 703 million of funding was made available by the EIB to SMEs and midcaps via Banque Fédérative Crédit du Crédit Mutuel, the Crédit Agricole Group and Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, in particular, and EUR 785 million of equity participations and guarantees were provided by the EIF.
Another key component of the EIB's activity in France in 2015 was training to improve young people's chances of a successful future, involving a total investment of EUR 729 million for collèges (lower secondary schools), lycées (upper secondary schools) and universities (Operation Campus). The EIF provided EUR 30 million in finance for the new Erasmus+ programme, which will benefit 2 000 Master's degree students – foreign students coming to France and French citizens studying abroad.
The EIB Group's exceptional financing efforts in 2015 in support of the real economy in France were deployed in conjunction with its public (Caisse des Dépôts Group, Bpifrance) and private partners (banking network). The EIB and the Caisse des Dépôts Group strengthened their partnership through the signature of a EUR 2 billion package to facilitate investment in local authorities, in particular small local authorities.
Lastly, in response to the large influx of migrants and refugees – a crisis that has shaken Europe – the bank of the European Union reacted very swiftly by providing a loan for housing (EUR 50 million) in partnership with the semi-public company ADOMA, a subsidiary of the SNI Group (Caisse des Dépôts). The EIB also signed a partnership agreement in Paris with the Council of Europe Development Bank, contributing EUR 5 million to the Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF), which will primarily finance reception and transit centres in Europe.
*The EIB Group comprises the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), a subsidiary dedicated to supporting SMEs and microfinance.
2015, année record pour l’activité du Groupe BEI en France