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BNL BNP Paribas and the EIB Group: €470 million credit line to support businesses

    Date: 14 March 2022
  • The resources will come from the Minerva 2 operation that the bank is implementing with the EIB Group.
  • The operation is being backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.

The new operation being undertaken by BNL BNP Paribas and the EIB Group, which comprises the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), focuses on the real economy and is aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (with fewer than 250 employees), which will represent at least 50%, and mid-caps (companies with fewer than 3 000 employees). The operation is being backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.

The operation is named Minerva 2 and is technically a synthetic securitisation (with no asset assignment) of a portfolio of the bank’s performing loans. The EIF has issued a guarantee for a tranche worth approximately €94 million, with an EIB counter-guarantee, which will enable BNL to provide new subsidised loans worth up to €470 million to Italian companies dealing with the impact of the pandemic on the economy and the business sector during this critical stage of national recovery.

This is the fourth operation between the EIB and the BNP Paribas Group, two of which have been undertaken with the lead bank BNP and two with BNL. A total guarantee of €402 million will enable companies to receive new loans worth some €2 billion.

“This deal with BNL BNP Paribas will provide new subsidised financing for small and medium-sized enterprises, the driving force behind the Italian economy. Last year, the EIB Group assisted with the liquidity requirements of more than 47 000 Italian companies with €6.86 billion,” said EIB Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti.

EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard added: “Italy is one of the European countries with the largest number of small and medium-sized enterprises, and giving them access to financing is a key element to encouraging inclusive economic recovery. Thanks to this agreement, the EIB Group and BNL BNP Paribas will be able to provide €470 million to support the investment requirements of Italian SMEs.”

Commissioner for the Economy, PaoloGentiloni, said: “I welcome this financing support for small and medium-sized businesses in Italy, backed by the Investment Plan for Europe and based on guarantees from the EIB and the EIF. The financing made available through this operation will allow businesses to continue their path to economic recovery after the pandemic crisis, creating and sustaining jobs in the process.”

Elena Goitini, Chief Executive Officer of BNL and Head of the BNP Paribas Group in Italy: "BNL BNP Paribas confirms its proximity to individuals and businesses throughout Italy thanks to a new organisational and business model that is even more transversal and specialised, with a view to meeting the expectations and requirements, in particular of entrepreneurs, who need a solid, experienced and reliable partner to accompany and support them. We also seek and create the best possible synergies with highly reputable operators, such as the EIB Group, because we understand the need to work together to help the country recover and start growing, especially at this critical social and economic juncture in the wake of the pandemic.”

The support is aimed at the industrial, agricultural, tourism and service sectors and is intended for investments in tangible and intangible assets made within a three-year horizon, and in particular acquisitions, restructuring, extensions of buildings used for the productive activity of the company, research and innovation, and working capital requirements related to the company’s operating cycle.

The Minerva 2 operation sees BNL BNP Paribas and the EIB Group build on the positive experience of working together on Minerva 1 in 2018, with the help of the EFSI to boost growth and employment throughout Europe.

Minerva 2 is one of the first synthetic operations to be designated STS (simple, transparent and standardised), which is a regulatory framework for securitisations recently included in EU law that is intended to guarantee the suitability of these products, differentiating them from more complex and higher risk financial instruments, while ensuring that the lending bank makes a profit.

Background information:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) finances projects in four priority areas: infrastructure, innovation, climate and environment, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Between 2019 and 2021, the EIB Group provided €36 billion in financing for projects in Italy.

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 by helping them to access finance. The EIF is also active in supporting climate fund investments and infrastructure with a strong focus on environmental sustainability. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. It provides first loss guarantees that enable the EIB Group to invest in riskier projects. The projects and agreements approved for financing as part of EFSI have to date attracted investments totalling €546.5 billion, benefiting more than 1.4 million SMEs. In Italy, total EFSI financing currently stands at €13.3 billion and has been used to activate €77 billion in additional investments.

BNL has been in business for over 100 years and is now one of the main Italian banking groups and among the best known brands in Italy, operating nationwide. BNL offers a wide range of solutions, products and services, from the most traditional to the most innovative, to meet the varied needs of its customers (individuals and families, businesses, authorities and institutions). Since 2006, BNL has been part of the BNP Paribas Group, which is present in 68 countries, employing more than 193 000 staff members, including 148 000 in Europe, where it has four domestic markets: Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg. BNP Paribas holds key positions in its major business sectors: Domestic Markets, International Financial Services and Corporate & Institutional Banking. Like the BNP Paribas Group as a whole, BNL is particularly committed to economic, social and environmental sustainability; a #PositiveBanking strategy that embodies the bank's determination to use its business to have a positive impact on customers, staff and the community as a whole, helping to build a more sustainable future.

Press contacts:


Lorenzo Squintani, tel.: +352 691 285 772, l.squintani@eib.org

Website: www.eib.org/press - www.eif.org - Press Office: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org

Media Relations: Francesco Chiurco, Maurizio Cassese +39 06.42925362 press.bnl@bnpparibas.com



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