Direct Funding

As part of its activity, ICO makes direct funding to Spanish businesses available for the development of large investment projects. ICO's direct funding activity responds to its aims of sustaining and promoting economic activities that contribute to growth and to improving the distribution of national wealth and, in particular, promoting those activities that merit promotion because of their social, cultural, innovative or ecological importance.

In addition, ICO's performance in its direct funding activities must comply with its commitment to sustainable economic development, both at the national and international level, adapting to the market standards in terms of sustainability and climate change objectives.

Direct funding operations,  not with a limiting character, are grouped into three products:

1. Project Finance.
2. Corporate.
3. Financial guarantees.

Processing of applications:

Processing of applications. Applications are studied by ICO itself, who decides on its participation.

Spanish Interest:

ICO will participate in a direct funding operation provided that there is Spanish interest, defined as:

  • The development of business activities or investments in Spain irrespective of the nationality of the shareholder or owner of the funding.
  • The development of business activities or investments outside of Spain: (i) if the equity holding of the Spanish company is at least 30% of its equity or (ii) if the supplies, works or services provided by Spanish companies represent at least 30% of the total project investment.
  • Business activities of the acquisition of Spanish goods and services by non-resident companies.
  • The direct or indirect participation of a Spanish company in the capital stock of the foreign company that owns the funding.

Purporse of the operation:

Direct funding should be aimed at funding investment projects, developing business activities, exportation or corporate commercial expansion plans, innovation or investment, regardless of the structure of the operation and its instrumentation. Therefore:

  • New investment or expansion of business activities are the preferred recipients of funding, but not the exclusive recipients. This is understood to be that which will be done in the drawdown period or that which is done in the last year before the funding request date.
  • The acquisition of businesses or shareholdings can be funded, but not as a simple financial investment.
  • In the scope of internationalisation, it is possible to:
    • Finance buyer credit, supplier credit and additional funding operations.
    • Grant guarantees and counter-guarantees.
  • Regarding refunding and restructuring of operations, ICO shall act solely with opportunity criteria, provided that this is framed in a process by which there is reasonable visibility in terms of the continuity of the accredited.
  • Business activities and liquidity including working capital may be funded.

Market where the operation originates:

ICO acts through a direct contractual relationship with the client and in conjunction with public and private financial entities, causing and contributing to the closure of operations through primary and secondary markets.

Amount per operation and position of ICO:

As a general rule, the minimum amount of funding will be 10 million euros or its equivalent in another currency. The participation of ICO will not exceed the greater involvement of any other entity.

In the case of small to medium sized Spanish companies or those established in Spain, ICO may, selectively, facilitate direct funding for an amount of less than 10 million euros.
ICO will act in collaboration with other financial institutions, whether these are public or private, national, international or multinational .

Time frames:

The operations will be formalised preferably in the medium and long term, in time frames of between 2 and 25 years.

The specific repayment and waiting period will be subject to negotiation with each borrower, bearing in mind the cash flow generation of the funded project.

Payment preference:

With preferential status, ICO will fund senior debt. In duly justified cases, ICO's participation could be examined in subordinate tranches.


ICO will be able to offer funding both domestically and internationally, within the conditions outlined above and, specifically, when there is Spanish interest.
In general, the operations should not involve a country risk allowance for ICO.


ICO, generally funds in EUR and USD. The availability of other currencies will be assessed on a case by case basis.


These are determined according to the kind of project and the characteristics of the company. ICO may require additional guarantees to the general guarantee of the debtor.


All economic-financial information that, in the opinion of ICO, enables the analysis of the solvency and payment capacity of owners and guarantors will be collected.

Who is it for?:

- Institutional sector: state (public investments in infrastructure promoted by the Central Administration) and territorial (investments promoted by Autonomous Communities and Local Entities).
- Business sector: public or private companies, including the project's vehicle companies. Financial sector companies are excluded.
The sector of individuals (self-employed or individuals) is not included.

Environmnetal and social impact:

ICO may fund projects that contribute to sustainable development, growth and distribution of wealth and job creation, those projects that are designed to combat climate change and those that are aligned with major global agendas for development, including the Sustainable Development Goals, the European Strategy 2030, OECD recommendations and that of the European Commission.

More specifically, it will not fund those projects that do not comply with the obligations assumed by ICO through its adherence to the Ecuator Principles or other international standards to which ICO could adhere.

Rates and commissions

Operation interest rates are those of the market. They can be referenced at a fixed rate throughout the duration of the operation or variable (EURIBOR), plus a differential to assign to each operation.
Usual commissions and rates (opening fee, formalisation fee, etc.) may be applied to these loans, in accordance with the type of investment in question.