EIF-CDP: €4.3 billion for Italian small businesses thanks to InvestEU guarantee

    Date: 31 October 2023
  • The funds will go towards promoting the competitiveness and investment of around 50 000 companies, focusing on the education, training and culture sectors.
  • The European Investment Fund (EIB Group) is set to provide a €120 million counter-guarantee, enabling Cassa Depositi e Prestiti to offer guarantees on a portfolio of loans with a significant leverage effect granted via a partnership with the banking system.
  • The initiative is backed by InvestEU, the European Commission’s programme to unlock investment supporting some of the European Union’s development priorities such as the green transition and small business growth.

European Investment Fund (EIF, part of the EIB Group) Chair and European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) CEO Dario Scannapieco have signed an agreement between the EIF and CDP under the InvestEU programme. The agreement aims to facilitate the provision of over €4.3 billion in new financing to almost 50 000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Italy, supporting competitiveness and investment in all sectors, with a particular focus on education, training and culture.

With backing from InvestEU (the European Commission’s programme to help mobilise investment in support of EU priorities), the EIF will provide a counter-guarantee of €120 million on favourable terms to CDP, which will in turn offer guarantees to Italian financial institutions to facilitate access to credit for SMEs. This instrument will generate an estimated leverage effect of 36 — calculated on the basis of the ratio between possible financing and the EIF’s first-loss guarantee — making it possible to unlock over €4.3 billion in financing from the banking system to support almost 50 000 SMEs.

CDP will use the EIF funds to launch three new guarantee lines to support SME investments in competitiveness, culture and education. In concrete terms, the €4.3 billion provided by the banking system to businesses is expected to be distributed as follows: over €3 billion for SME competitiveness; over €1 billion for the cultural and creative sector; and around €300 million for education.

In the last three years, the EIF and CDP have signed four operations totalling around €1.2 billion, helping to mobilise additional financing of over €15 billion for more than 55 000 SMEs in Italy, thereby making a significant impact across the country.

“This operation further consolidates the partnership between the EIB Group and CDP — a relationship that is key to supporting the economic growth and competitiveness of Italian industry,” said EIF Chair Gelsomina Vigliotti. “The EIF guarantees granted over the last three years have enabled CDP to make it easier for over 55 000 small and medium-sized enterprises in Italy to access credit on favourable terms.”

CDP CEO Dario Scannapieco added: “CDP’s role to support of the Italian economy in partnership with the banking system has grown in recent years, partially via solid cooperation with the EIF. Optimal use of EU funds will enable the operation announced today to further expand our promotion of growth and the investments of SMEs — the driving force behind the Italian economy.”

The EIB Group is implementing 75% of the InvestEU Fund as its main partner, while the remaining 25% will be implemented by international financial institutions and national promotional institutions such as Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP).


Background information

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance and venture capital. The EIF is also active in supporting climate and infrastructure fund investments with a strong focus on environmental sustainability. In this role, the EIF pursues the objectives of the European Union to support innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.

Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) is the national promotional institution that has supported the Italian economy since 1850. It is committed to accelerating the industrial and infrastructure development of the country in order to contribute to its economic and social growth. CDP’s core activity promotes sustainable regional development as well as the growth and innovation of Italian companies, including internationally. It partners with local authorities, providing funding and advisory services to build infrastructure and improve public utility services. It is also active in the field of international cooperation to implement projects in developing countries and emerging markets. Cassa Depositi e Prestiti is financed from entirely private resources via postal savings bonds and passbooks and through issues on the national and international financial markets.

InvestEU provides the European Union with long-term funding by leveraging substantial private and public funds in support of a sustainable recovery. It also helps to crowd in private investment for the European Union's strategic priorities such as the European Green Deal and the digital transition. The InvestEU Programme brings together under one roof the multitude of EU financial instruments currently available to support investment in the European Union, making funding for investment projects simpler, more efficient and more flexible. InvestEU has three components: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal. The InvestEU Fund is deployed through financial partners that invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion. The entire budgetary guarantee will be used to support the investment projects of the implementing partners to increase their risk-taking capacity, unlocking additional investments of at least €372 billion.

Press contact

EIF, l.squintani@eib.org, tel.: +39 366 57 90 312

Website: www.eib.org/press, Press Office: +352 4379 21000 — press@eib.org

CDP: Media Relations

ufficio.stampa@cdp.it — Tel.: +39 (0) 6 4221 4000 — Website: www.cdp.it


Note: Following the recent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, we are updating the relevant EIF.org pages.


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