Agreement will enable provision of EUR 600 million to finance investment projects of Spanish SMEs and mid-caps.

The European Investment Bank Group, formed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Investment Fund (EIF), have granted BBVA a EUR 98 million guarantee, on a mezzanine tranche of a EUR 1.95 billion portfolio, that will enable the provision of up to EUR 600 million to finance new investment projects of small Spanish businesses. This is the second mezzanine guarantee operation in a synthetic SME securitisation in which the EIB and EIF are jointly participating in Spain. The agreement was made possible by the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).

EFSI is the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, known as the “Juncker Plan”. Its support increases the EIB Group’s capacity to finance investment projects that, in line with the Plan’s criteria, involve activities which by their structure or nature have a higher risk profile but which foster firms’ competitiveness and create jobs.

This is also the second mezzanine guarantee operation subscribed by the EIB Group and BBVA. The previous one, signed in June 2017, has so far enabled the provision of EUR 640 million worth of finance for firms in various sectors, such as wholesale, transport and tourism. The agreement aims to foster support for small and medium-sized firms in all sectors of the Spanish economy, providing them with loans on favourable terms that enable them to obtain funding with lower interest rates and longer repayment periods.

EIF Chief Executive Pier Luigi Gilibert said about the agreement: “The EIF is delighted to be participating in the EIB Group’s second mezzanine guarantee operation in Spain. Thanks to our partnership with the EIB and BBVA, Spanish SMEs will be able to benefit from the advantages of our financing. This agreement combines the EIF’s experience in mobilising and structuring investment with the EIB’s efficiency and the support of the Juncker Plan, with the aim of increasing BBVA’s capacity to provide credit to small and medium-sized Spanish businesses, so supporting job creation and economic growth”.

The Director of BBVA Spain, Cristina de Parias, added that BBVA is clearly committed to promoting the growth and digitalisation of Spain’s business fabric and the improvement of its international competitiveness. This new agreement is a good example of BBVA’s investment in the future of Spanish SMEs”.

Over the last few years, the EIB and BBVA have signed a number of other operations targeting SMEs. In November 2017, they provided EUR 300 million to finance innovation and the digitalisation of small Spanish businesses; in June 2016, they launched a EUR 600 million credit line; and in 2015, they approved a EUR 1 billion credit line to foster economic recovery and job creation in SMEs.