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Investment Plan for Europe: EIF and Banca Popolare di Bari sign EUR 100m agreement to benefit innovative Italian SMEs

    Date: 08 April 2016

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Banca Popolare di Bari (BP Bari) assisted by Finanziaria Internazionale, have signed an InnovFin agreement for SMEs benefiting from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.

The InnovFin agreement will allow BP Bari to provide loans to innovative companies in Italy over the next 2 years with the support of a guarantee provided by the EIF and backed under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The EU support for innovative Italian companies is expected to generate a portfolio of EUR 100m of bank loans. Banca Popolare di Bari will provide loans to innovative businesses and some loans will also be channelled via the following banks - Cassa di Risparmio di Orvieto, Banca Tercas and Banca Caripe.

Commenting on the signature, EIF’s Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “I am pleased to be announcing this InnovFin SME Guarantee agreement with the BP Bari banking group for the benefit of innovative companies in Italy. This deal will help to support innovative and growing Italian businesses in need of finance, especially in the southern part of the country.”

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "Innovation is essential for jobs and economic growth in Europe, which is why it is at the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe. With today's agreement, we are bringing €100 million in fresh loans to innovative Italian SMEs."

This transaction implemented thanks to EFSI in Italy, reflects the EIB Group’s commitment to respond swiftly to calls from Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament for a rapid launch of concrete initiatives under EFSI, accelerating lending and guaranteeing transactions capable of boosting jobs and growth in the EU.

About the EIF
The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its 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.

About BPBari
Banca Popolare di Bari is the Parent Company of the homonymous banking Group, whose subsidiaries are “Banca Tercas”, “Banca Caripe”, “Cassa di Risparmio di Orvieto” and “Popolare Bari Corporate Finance”.

Founded in 1960, BPBari is endowed with a network made up of about 380 branches, located in 13 Italian Regions.

SMEs wishing to apply for finance under the InnovFin programme can directly contact BP Bari at the following website: www.popolarebari.it  and e-mail address: cpinnovfin@popolarebari.it

About the Investment Plan for Europe
Investment Plan for Europe

About InnovFin

About Horizon2020

Press contacts:

EIF: David Yormesor
Tel.: +352 24 85 81 346, e-mail: d.yormesor@eif.org

BP Bari: Christiano Spagnoletti
Tel.: +39 080 5274 938, e-mail: c.spagnoletti@popolarebari.it

European Commission: Annika Breidthardt
Tel.: +322 295 6153, e-mail: Annika.breidthardt@ec.europa.eu


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