ICO extends €21.47 billion: highest amount distributed over the twenty-year history of the ICO Financing Facilities programme

ICO extends €21.47 billion: highest amount distributed over the twenty-year history of the ICO Financing Facilities programme

Volume of loans awarded in 2014 55% higher than in 2013 and virtually double the 2012 figure.

Significant reach of ICO Facilities is striking: 62% of loans awarded to microenterprises and over 50% were for less than €25,000.

Export and International Facilities have grown the most, underpinning Spanish companies' increasingly international profiles.

Financing awarded by ICO accounts for 11.8% of all corporate credit extended for more than one year by entire Spanish financial system.

 ICO granted €21.47 billion of loans in 2014, financing close to 300,000 investment projects and/or the liquidity needs of self-employed professionals and SMEs. The volume of loans extended under ICO's Financing Facilities programme marks year-on-year growth of 54.63% and virtually doubles the amount awarded in 2012.

These figures represent all-time records in the history of the ICO Financing Facilities, which dates back almost 20 years, in terms of both the volume of financing awarded and the number of loans closed. They also evidence the drawing to an end of the credit crunch, growth in corporate investment and consolidating economic recovery.

With respect to the financing extended in 2014, three trends are worth highlighting: (i) the facilities' tremendous reach; (ii) the fact that lending volumes rose across all facility categories; and (iii) the considerable growth in credit extended to fund Spanish companies' international strategies.

Microenterprises and self-employed professionals were the biggest recipients of ICO loans, accounting for 62% of the total. It is similarly worth underscoring the fact that the majority of loans (51%) were for under €25,000. Meanwhile, over 25% of the loans extended in 2014 went to self-employed professionals.

The other important reading from the ICO 2014 Financing Facilities figures is the manifest growth in Spanish SMEs' international activity. The loans earmarked for export and international expansion funding registered the fastest growth, rising to account for 24% of total demand for ICO facilities.

The substantial growth in ICO lending activity translated into a larger share of the Spanish credit pie: the loans awarded by ICO account for 11.8% of all credit distributed by the overall financial system to Spanish companies (considering loans maturing in more than one year), making ICO a top player in the SME loan segment.

Companies based in Catalonia took the largest share of ICO facilities, at 19.76% of the total, followed by Madrid (14.98%), Andalusia (11.73%) and Valencia (11.62%).

Growth across all Financing Facilities

ICO¿s Short-Term Export Facility sustained by far and away the highest growth year on year: in 2014, ICO distributed almost €4.8 billion under this facility  242% up on 2013.

This facility was used to discount almost 65,000 invoices with an average size of €73,800. Loans were granted to fund exports by Spanish companies to some 186 different countries. The European Union accounted for 67% of discounted invoices, with France (18%), Germany (12%) and Italy (10%) standing out.

ICO¿s International Facility, which is awarded to finance Spanish companies¿ efforts to expand their businesses abroad, awarded almost €400 million of loans, growth of 44% compared to 2013. This facility financed more than 800 projects in 82 different countries.

Among the main ICO second-floor facilities, it also is worth highlighting the SME and Entrepreneurs Facility, financing investments and liquidity needs. Under this facility, ICO awarded over €16 billion of loans, up 33% year on year.

Lastly, it is worth noting the growth sustained in the secured ICO Mutual Guarantee Company Facility: the volume of loans granted in this category increased by 22% year on year to €88 million.