• EIB Group financing of EUR 8.6bn in France in 2017
  • With new financing of EUR 3bn – amounting to a third of the EIB Group’s operations – France is, along with Italy, one of the main Juncker Plan beneficiaries
  • Climate action (55%) and support for innovation (32%) were the main focus of the EIB Group's activities in 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.

“The implementation of the Juncker Plan in France has been a success. A third of our activity is dedicated to the EU priority of getting investment back on track, so enabling new sectors to be financed via innovative instruments to attract new customers. France is, along with Italy, the main beneficiary of the Juncker Plan”, said Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, opening the press conference. “Projects to combat climate change accounted for an historically high volume last year: 55% of total financing in France. Climate action and support for innovation are the EIB's top priorities as it targets investment and job creation in France."

The EIB has become a key player in getting investment back on track through investment in France. Alongside its subsidiary the EIF, in 2017 it provided over EUR 8.6bn of new financing via 105 operations (67 backed by the EIB and 38 by the EIF).

In 2017 the EIB Group’s operations in France were centred on three key strategic areas of activity: climate action – with an historically high amount of projects (55%) dedicated to this priority segment; support for innovation (32%); and the Juncker Plan. Between them, they accounted for a third of all financing. Support for businesses and jobs was at the heart of the EIB Group’s activities in France in 2017: 30 000 SMEs and mid-caps employing 175 000 people benefited from EIF guarantees in France.

France is, along with Italy, one of the main beneficiaries of the Juncker Plan

56 operations approved, up almost 50% on 2016

Nearly 75% of these operations were with new customers 

For the second year running France is, along with Italy, one of Europe’s main Juncker Plan beneficiaries. In 2017, EUR 4.7bn in financing was approved under the Juncker Plan via 56 operations. At the same time, 48 projects totalling nearly EUR 3bn were signed, unlocking EUR 13.5bn of additional investment. The scope of Juncker Plan operations was extended to embrace new sectors such as culture, agriculture, cybersecurity, maritime, medtech and biotech, and risk sharing in support of energy transition. Nearly 75% of these new operations were signed with new customers.

Given the volume and quality of operations promoted and the impact generated, 2017 confirmed the success of an EU guarantee mechanism intended, first and foremost, to get investment back on track in Europe with the emergence of a new operating model for the EIB.

The EIB is now focusing its financing on smaller-scale, riskier projects furthering strategic economic objectives for France’s future, e.g. support for innovation and climate action, to which the EIB has dedicated respectively 44% and 60% of its Juncker Plan operations. 

Increased support for innovation and the development of innovative instruments

32% of all operations financed

Boosted by its expertise and experience in the field of financial engineering, the EIB Group has developed innovative risk sharing and synthetic securitisation instruments, in particular, to meet the investment requirements of public and private-sector customers in the areas of renewable energy and SME support. 

In 2017, for example, the EIB established an innovative partnership with the Valeco Group and a consortium of commercial banks to mobilise EUR 220m of guarantees and funding. This partnership aims to support the construction and operation of wind farms and photovoltaic power plants developed by the Valeco Group in France, with a total capacity of 185 MW. In December 2017 the EIB Group also signed two synthetic securitisation operations with the BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole groups.

In operational terms, the EIB Group promoted France's industrial competitiveness and production capacity via projects with Ecotitanium (EUR 30m), Latécoère (EUR 55m), Mecachrome (EUR 40m), Saint Jean Industries (EUR 45m), and CS Communication & Systèmes in the areas of security and cybersecurity (EUR 20m). In the human and animal health sector, specifically research activities for which the EIB is in great demand given the inherent risk attached to this type of financing, the Bank supported leading companies in their respective fields – Cellnovo (EUR 20m), Olmix (EUR 30m), Da Volterra (EUR 20m), Virbac (EUR 76.9m), Enterome (EUR 40m) and Amoeba (EUR 20m). To date, more than 100 biotech companies in France have been financed by the EIB Group.

Towards a carbon-free economy

55% of all operations dedicated to combating climate change

The EIB devoted an historical amount (55%) of its financing to climate action. This performance far exceeds the EIB's 25% objective in Europe.

This strong commitment was reflected by greater support for energy efficiency in public and private buildings, clean transport and the development of renewable energy via the financing of numerous operations: energy efficiency and renewable energy investment funds with Amundi Energy Transition ALBA, Brownfield III, Infragreen III, Construction Energy Efficiency Plus Fund; public and private enterprises with Forsee, SOREGIES Vienne, Valeco, Brittany Ferries, and Société du Grand Paris for Line 15 South; third party financing companies with ARTEE Nouvelle Aquitaine and SPEE Picardie; and risk-sharing agreements with commercial banks for renewable energy projects.

In 2017, the EIB also promoted training for young people, with total investment of EUR 1 145m in secondary schools and universities. The Seine-Saint-Denis department and the City of Paris obtained financing of EUR 240m and EUR 250m respectively for the modernisation of their secondary schools. As part of “Operation Campus”, the EIB accelerated its support for French universities in 2017 by signing six new financing agreements totalling EUR 445m for the campuses of Lorraine, Aix-Marseille, Toulouse, Montpellier, Bordeaux and AgroParis Tech Saclay. 

To promote employment, especially in priority city districts, since 2016 the EIF has supported IMPACT Création, an investment fund dedicated exclusively to the creation of franchised businesses. In 2017, seven new transactions were financed via this fund.

In the social housing sector, the EIB helped increase to EUR 1bn the investment capacity of low-rent housing (HLM) companies via a loan to Caisse des Dépôts in support of equity-type operations. The EIB also provided a EUR 200m loan to Adestia, a subsidiary of Société nationale immobilière (SNI). The key element of this EU loan is the upgrading and energy efficiency refurbishment of 25 000 homes under the aegis of the SNI Group's social housing companies (ESHs) in areas under high pressure (75% of which are in Île-de-France).