The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted Banco BPI a total of EUR 350 million through a EUR 300 million loan to finance investments of mainly small and medium-sized companies and an additional EUR 50 million loan aimed at financing corporate energy efficiency investments in Portugal.
EIB Vice-President, Román Escolano, and Banco BPI CEO, Fernando Ulrich, have signed today in Lisbon the first EUR 300 million tranche of a total EIB EUR 400 million loan that will contribute to provide funding with favourable interest rates and longer tenor for Portuguese SMEs (firms up to 250 employees) and midcaps (firms with up to 3.000 employees) in order to foster economic growth and employment creation in Portugal. Around 30% of the total loan could be used to finance small projects implemented by public sector entities, notably municipalities and local enterprises throughout Portugal.
This is the fifth EIB operation with Banco BPI under the same framework aimed at supporting small and medium-size Portuguese companies in order to facilitate sustainable growth. The last one was a EUR 300 loan signed in 2014 that has promoted more than 1.300 projects in different sectors of industry and services.
Additionally, the EIB has signed today with Banco BPI a EUR 50 million loan under the EIB and European Commission’s new Private Finance For Energy Efficiency (PF4EE) instrument. This EIB financial support will foster the development of energy efficiency and small renewable energy investments mainly in the corporate sector in Portugal.
The PF4EE instrument combines three elements. The first consists of an EIB loan to improve the funding conditions of the energy efficiency investments financed by local banks. The second component provides partial risk protection on partner banks’ loans. The third element will strengthen the lending capacity specifically targeted at energy efficiency investments by passing on technical and financial expertise gained from similar schemes elsewhere in the EU.
This latter EIB funding and risk sharing with the European Commission will facilitate the implementation of measures such as the improvement of roofs, walls, windows and energy equipment in buildings, the modernisation of lighting systems and the installation of technologies that will allow the use of clean energy in industrial production for self-consumption. Therefore, this EIB 50 million loan to BPI will contribute to reduce CO2 emissions and to improve energy efficiency. The projects to be financed are located in Portugal.
In the signature ceremony, EIB Vice-President, Román Escolano, said: «Financing small and medium business and energy efficiency investments are two relevant EIB’s priorities in Portugal. These two loans signed today in Lisbon with BPI will facilitate EIB funding with financial advantages to support Portuguese SMEs and MidCaps, a fundamental pillar of employment creation in the country, in a broad range of productive sectors while fostering, at the same time, the use of clean energies».
Banco BPI CEO, Fernando Ulrich, stated that «this fifth SME & midcap loan operation is the 30th contract signed with the EIB, a long standing partnership with BPI very successfully initiated in 1983 in operations that have reached so far almost EUR 2.5 billion. It confirms the highest priority that BPI continues to attach to SMEs & midcaps in its lending policy for 2017 and beyond. As far as the new PF4EE is concerned, BPI is delighted to have been selected again by the EIB – in response to a public call launched by the EIB in 2015 - as the first EIB and EC intermediary in Portugal in the utilization of a new lending instrument to support small and medium sized projects aiming exclusively at energy efficiency».
Commenting on this signature, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel AriasCañete said: «The cheapest energy is the one we do not use. With more energy savings, businesses and entrepreneurs have more resources at their disposal to create more jobs and growth. These EUR 50 million will help SMEs in Portugal to save money and to reduce their carbon emissions».
The EIB and SG Finans announce the launch of a EUR 90 million credit line for projects in Norway. While 70% of the funding is earmarked for Climate Action projects, the agreement also foresees that a minimum of 30% of the available funding will be channelled to projects in the SME sector. The EIB-financing will allow eligible clients to receive a reduction on their interest rate, which is especially relevant for business hit hard by the corona crisis. Eligible clients will receive a reduction on their interest rate provided by European Investment Bank.
The EIB and the Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) are providing the self-employed, SMEs and mid-caps in Spain with up to EUR 1.5 billion to enable them to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. The first EUR 1 billion instalment of this financing package has been signed under an accelerated approval procedure introduced by the EIB in response to this emergency, enabling the funds to reach Spanish firms as quickly as possible.
The EIB has signed a financing agreement of $100 million with Banque du Caire (BDC) to finance the investments of Egyptian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing and services sectors to improve their competitiveness. The new financing is expected to sustain 4 000 jobs in 100 companies.