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EIB-EC SME Initiative: Spain first country to implement initiative

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    Date: 26 January 2015

SME initiative signed in SpainThe EIB Group (EIB and EIF) has concluded an agreement with the Kingdom of Spain and the European Commission on the implementation of the SME Initiative in Spain. The agreements were signed in Madrid by EIB Vice-President Román Escolano, EIF Chief Executive Pier Luigi Gilibert and Secretary of State Marta Fernández Currás.

During the signing ceremony, EIB Vice-President Román Escolano said that “the launch of the SME initiative in Spain is a sign of the EIB Group’s firm commitment to supporting Europe’s SMEs as the drivers of economic recovery and job creation”. He added that “this pioneering initiative represents clear progress towards using the structural funds more efficiently and will ensure that funding reaches a greater number of small and medium-sized businesses on highly favourable terms”.

Commenting on the transaction, EIF Chief Executive Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “The SME Initiative brings an innovative new approach to the use of European Structural and Investment Funds, combining them with EU Horizon 2020 funds and with EIB Group resources. This combination allows the EIF to provide risk-sharing and capital relief to financial intermediaries for the ultimate benefit of SMEs. I am very pleased that Spain has contributed EUR 800 million to this initiative, which will generate more than EUR 3 billion of SME financing.”

Spain is the first country to implement this new EU initiative, contributing an amount of EUR 800 million out of its European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

The SME Initiative entails an innovative change in the use of ESIF, combining the latter with EU central budget (resources from the COSME and/or Horizon 2020 programmes) and EIB Group funds and guarantees.

The main aim of this initiative is to facilitate access to finance for Spanish SMEs by lowering the interest rates charged by banks on their loans. At the same time, intermediary banks will considerably reduce the risk on each SME loan, and the relevant cost of capital, by benefiting from a financial guarantee issued by the EIB Group.

The EUR 800 million contributed by the Kingdom of Spain and the regions concerned will be leveraged with commercial lending through a risk-sharing mechanism. This will result in more SMEs benefiting from European resources on advantageous terms. It is expected that more than EUR 3 billion of new SME financing will be supported under this programme. This financial instrument will act as a catalyst for private investment and foster job creation.

Background:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

The European Investment Fund's (EIF) central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.

Press contacts:

European Investment Bank: Matilde del Valle, +352 4379 83154, delvalle@eib.org

European Investment Fund: David Yormesor, dyormesor@eif.org +352426688446


 
 

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