EIB and ICO back the financing and internationalisation of Spanish SMEs to the tune of €1 billion

EIB and ICO back the financing and internationalisation of Spanish SMEs to the tune of €1 billion

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has today granted two loans of €250 million each to Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO), with the dual purpose of fostering financing for Spanish SMEs and mid-cap companies (up to 3,000 employees) and supporting their exports. As part of the deal, ICO will match the financing provided by the EIB with €500 million of its own, bringing the overall volume of funds to €1 billion.

The two loan agreements were signed at a meeting in Luxembourg today by Román Escolano, the vice-president of the EIB, and Pablo Zalba, ICO's chairman, in the presence of the president of the EIB, Werner Hoyer.

Román Escolano,EIB vice-president and Pablo Zalba, ICO's chairman

The first €250 million loan is to finance long-term investments by Spanish SMEs and mid-cap companies, which will be able to take advantage of preferential maturities and interest rates. The previous deal between the EIB and ICO allowed Spanish companies to finance more than 7,000 projects, mainly in the trade and industry sectors, stimulating both economic growth and job creation.

Support for exports

The EIB and ICO will also provide liquidity for the internationalisation of Spanish SMEs and mid-cap companies. The second EIB loan signed today, also for €250 million, will support the ICO Exporters Facility and allow short-term advance financing to SMEs and the self-employed for invoices stemming from exporting, and the costs of producing and processing goods for export.

At the signing ceremony, EIB's vice-president Román Escolano highlighted "the positive impact of these two agreements on job creation in Spain. SMEs and mid-cap companies are essential drivers of economic growth in our country, and the loan signed today shows the deep, joint commitment of the EIB and ICO to supporting the financing of our companies."

ICO's chairman, Pablo Zalba, stated that "through our second-floor facilities and this collaboration with the EIB, ICO will continue to support Spanish companies, SMEs, and the self-employed by offering them financing on very favourable terms and promoting their internationalisation. This in turn will have a notable macroeconomic impact in our country, producing stronger economic growth and creating jobs."

Through these two loans, the EIB and ICO are supporting financing for SMEs and the exporting sector, both of which are key drivers of job creation, as the European Commission estimates that every €1 billion increase in exports generates 14,000 jobs.

These types of financing operations position ICO as a flagship supporter and driver of the export sector in Spain, in line with the change seen in the Spanish economy. Last year the ICO Exporters Facility financed almost €3 billion of exports by more than 43,000 companies.

In recent years, ICO, has strengthened its support for the internationalisation and exports of Spanish SMEs, companies and the self-employed through the implementation of several financing mechanisms, covering all exporting needs through debt instruments, guarantees and equity investments.

Note to editors

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the European Union's long-term financing institution, which is owned by its member states. The EIB provides long-term financing to viable investment projects in order to help achieve EU policy objectives.

Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) is a state-owned bank structured as a public corporation attached to the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness via the State Secretariat for Economic and Business Affairs. It has the legal status of a credit institution and takes the role of State Financial Agency. As a state-owned bank, ICO grants loans to finance investment and liquidity projects for businesses in Spain and abroad, through intermediary financial institutions or via direct financing. Moreover, as the State Financial Agency, ICO manages the official financing instruments that the Spanish state provides to promote exports and support development.