>@Mercedes Landete/EIB

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is granting a EUR 100 million loan to Crédito Agrícola (CA) aimed at facilitating access to credit for SMEs and mid-caps mainly located in Portugal. EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro and the President of CA Licínio Pina have signed the agreement in Lisbon.

Crédito Agrícola will match this EIB loan with a further EUR 100 million, meaning that a total of EUR 200 million will be made available for the benefit of SMEs and mid-caps to support small investment projects in different sectors of industry and services. In addition to small and medium-sized enterprises, public sector entities, such as municipalities, and other private sector entities are also eligible for financing, including investments in health, education, energy and facilities needed to provide a service to the public. 

Crédito Agrícola will transfer the EIB funding advantages to the final beneficiaries in terms of both maturity and interest rates. Under this agreement, the EIB will finance up to 100% of the total project cost for SMEs and mid-caps (with a maximum of EUR 12.5 million per project) and up to 50% for other types of projects.

At the signing ceremony, EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro stressed “the important contribution of this agreement to fostering economic growth and job creation in Portugal. SMEs are fundamental for employment in the country and financing them is one of the EIB’s priorities. With this new agreement, the EIB and CA are joining forces to ensure that small and medium-sized Portuguese companies, many of them operating in the agricultural sector, will benefit from EIB funding with financial advantages and longer tenors”. 

This is the second SME financing operation between EIB and Crédito Agrícola. The previous one was signed in 2015 and contributed to supporting small companies operating mainly in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.