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  • Record new financing of EUR 9.3bn
  • France among the top three Juncker Plan beneficiaries

On Thursday 12 January 2017, European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle and European Investment Fund (EIF) Chief Executive Pier Luigi Gilibert presented the results of the EIB Group's activities in France.

Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle opened the press conference by saying: “2016 was an exceptional year for the EIB Group in France, with EUR 9.3bn in new financing signed, 70% of which was aimed at supporting the private sector. 2016 was also the year the Juncker Plan got fully under way, with France as one of its main beneficiaries. Almost 30% of our activities were dedicated to this EU priority supporting innovative projects with major economic impact. The EU bank worked harder than ever to foster growth, innovation and jobs in France.”

Driven by the capital increase approved in June 2012, the EIB Group considerably expanded its financial backing for the real economy and implemented a policy promoting growth and jobs. The Group therefore doubled its activities between 2012 and 2016 to EUR 9.3bn in new financing in 2016. This financing can be broken down as follows:

  • EUR 8bn from the EIB to support projects in future-oriented sectors such as the training of young people, support for businesses and innovation, infrastructure modernisation, the digital sector and the energy transition;
  • EUR 1.3bn from the EIF, the Group subsidiary dedicated to supporting SMEs and microfinance.

The Juncker Plan accounts for almost 30% of the Group's activities in France

The implementation of the Investment Plan for Europe – more commonly known as the Juncker Plan – was at the heart of the Group's major mobilisation in 2016: 37 new operations were approved for a total amount of EUR 2.8bn. This should lever additional investment of EUR 15.8bn. Since the launch of the Juncker Plan, EUR 4.1bn in financing has been approved to support high value-added operations that, due to their risk level, would not have seen the light of day or would not have received financing of such a high amount or with such a maturity without this guarantee. This financing is expected to mobilise EUR 21.3bn in additional investment.

For example, the EIB is providing EUR 500m for the development of affordable rental housing (13 000 additional homes for the middle classes by 2019 in areas under high pressure) with the Société Nationale Immobilière and for the creation of 20 000 construction jobs during the building phase.

70 000 businesses will benefit from Juncker Plan support in France on the basis of the transactions signed in 2016.

Increased support for the private sector (70%) and innovation (38%)

The EIB's support for the private sector and innovation more than doubled in 2016 to reach 70% and 38% respectively of the Group's overall activities in France. One of the flagship innovative projects financed by the EIB was CERN's major initiative for this decade (EUR 183m): perfecting the high-luminosity large hadron collider. The EIB also provided EUR 65m to the European Synchrotron in Grenoble for the implementation of the ESRF-EBS (Extremely Brilliant Source) project.

50% of Juncker Plan investments financed innovative projects in key sectors of the French economy such as agriculture and agribusiness (Maîtres laitiers du Cotentin, EUR 55m), industry (Aperam, EUR 50m; Arcelor Mittal, EUR 168m; Fonds Sociétés de Projets Industriels SPI, EUR 100m; Trêves, EUR 32m; and Technicolor, EUR 56m) and support for start-ups and young companies with, for example, the Quadrivium academic fund.

SMEs and midcaps received support of EUR 2.5bn that can be broken down as follows: EUR 1.2bn in EIB financing via BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Banque Fédérative du Crédit Mutuel, Crédit Agricole Group and Crédit Mutuel Arkéa. For its part, the EIF provided EUR 1.3bn worth of financing in the form of equity participations and guarantees.

Training for young people: a priority for the EIB

Another major area of action for the EIB in France in 2016 was training, with total investment of EUR 705m in secondary schools, upper secondary schools and universities. As part of the Campus Plan, the EIB signed four new financing agreements in 2016 totalling EUR 320m for the campuses of Lyon (EUR 125m), Paris Intra-Muros (EUR 80m), Strasbourg (EUR 90m) and Saclay-Centrale (EUR 25m). By offering these universities the opportunity to borrow over the long term, the EIB is supporting the development of sustainable, world-class campuses that are attractive both nationally and internationally.

The EIF also signed a new Erasmus+ guarantee agreement in 2016 with Caisses d’Epargne (BPCE Group) aiming to finance EUR 30m in loans for Erasmus+ Master's students in France and abroad (EUR 4.9m).

Towards a carbon-free economy
59% of public sector investment dedicated to climate action

The EIB dedicated 35% of its investments in France in 2016 to climate action, reaching 59% for public infrastructure including secondary schools, upper secondary schools and universities. This performance far exceeds the objective (25%) set by the EIB at European Union-level. For example, the EIB provided an EU guarantee (Juncker Plan) to support the Ginkgo 2 fund (EUR 30m) in its redevelopment of urban brownfield sites including the construction of 5 000 homes and the creation of 8 500 full-time equivalent jobs.

Modernised infrastructure, close to the people
EUR 1bn for Greater Paris

In 2016, the EIB provided financing of EUR 3.2bn for several construction projects that are vital to people’s daily lives. The modernisation of public transport was one of the key aspects of this initiative, with total investment of EUR 1.6bn including EUR 1bn for the construction of the first line of the Grand Paris Express, line 15, which will improve the lives of Île-de-France residents by promoting economic activity and jobs in the region.

Lastly, the migrant crisis led the EIB to provide financing of EUR 50m with ADOMA to refurbish buildings across the country, creating accommodation for asylum seekers and refugees (more than 13 000 places over five years).