In 2015, ICO granted 166,000 loans to Spanish companies through its financing facilities, totalling almost EUR 10 billion

In 2015, ICO granted 166,000 loans to Spanish companies through its financing facilities, totalling almost EUR 10 billion

Promoting the internationalisation of companies. In 2015, 9% of exporters obtained financing through the ICO Exporters facility.

Activities managed by ICO on behalf of the State have increased. It increased by 35% last year, rising to €140.905 billion.

Last year, ICO granted almost €10 billion through its second-floor facilities in collaboration with the private banking sector. Through these facilities, 166,000 transactions were completed to finance investments, liquidity and promote the international expansion of Spanish companies.

Furthermore, in 2015 ICO provided €1.25 billion in financing to companies by means of direct loans for large-scale investment projects, a year-on-year increase of 70%.

Activities managed by ICO on behalf of the State also increased, by 35% to €140.905 billion as a result of its strengthened position as State Financial Agency.

ICO's contribution to the Spanish economy in 2015 was based on two areas of action. Firstly, promoting financing for SMEs, particularly micro-enterprises and the self-employed. Secondly, encouraging businesses to expand internationally by developing new products adapted to their needs to increase their productivity.

ICO facilities in 2015

Against the current backdrop of economic growth and the normalisation of private borrowing, ICO continued its important work, although at lower levels compared to the previous year, in line with the Institute's counter-cyclical role.

A total of €9.671 billion in loans was granted through ICO facilities in 2015, used to finance 166,000 transactions. More than half of the loans were for less than €25,000 and 66% of loans were granted to companies with fewer than 10 employees. Both these figures demonstrate the extensive reach of ICO's facilities, which make it possible to offer financing to every company in Spain, in collaboration with credit institutions.

In terms of the geographic distribution of these transactions, SMEs and the self-employed in the Catalonia region were the leading beneficiaries, accounting for 15% of the total, followed by Madrid (14%) and Valencia (13%).

The distribution of these facilities by sector shows that loans taken out by companies in the wholesale, manufacturing and haulage and storage sectors received the most financing, accounting for 18%, 11% and 10%, respectively.

There has also been an increase in the volume designated to long-term investments. In total, 37% of the amount granted by ICO was lent for a term of 5 years or more.

The second ICO action area in 2015 was to promote encourage the internationalisation of Spanish companies. Last year, the Institute completed 43,834 transactions totalling more than €3 billion, intended to boost the globalisation of companies. Furthermore, in 2015, 9% of Spanish exporters obtained financing through the ICO Exporters facility.

The main destinations for exports and investments abroad involving Spanish companies receiving financing from ICO facilities were France, Germany and Italy, accounting for 20%, 11%, and 9%, respectively. Outside Europe, the United States was the country targeted by most countries, accounting for 5% of loans.

ICO's international lending activities have increased significantly since 2012, rising from just 2% of the volume of loans distributed via ICO facilities to more than 32% in 2015.

Direct financing

ICO direct financing increased by more than 70% year-on-year in 2015 to €1.25 billion. Of this amount, €1.132 billion was provided as loans and €118 million as guarantees.

These facilities serve to finance large investment projects carried out by Spanish companies, both in Spain and abroad. Of the total volume of loans granted, €671 million was used to back investments made by companies in Spain and €579 million for foreign operations undertaken by Spanish companies.

Impact on the economy

The impact of ICO's activities on the Spanish economy is particularly significant in regions with greater economic difficulties. In 2015, the volume of loans to companies from regions with a per capita GDP below the national average represented 50% of the total amount.

Furthermore, 23% of the loans granted over the past year were made to companies located in regions with an unemployment rate above the national average at the end of 2014.

Increase in the volume of funds managed on behalf of the State

ICO has continued to increase the volume of funds administered on behalf of the State, in its role as a Financial Agency. In 2015, the Institute managed €140.905 billion in public funds, an increase of 35%. The Regional Governments Financing Fund, the Local Authorities Financing Fund and the Companies Internationalization Fund (FIEM) are all worth particular mention.

A total of 1.4 million invoices were paid to more than 108,000 companies, totalling €17.258 billion, charged to the Regional Governments and Local Authorities Financing Funds. In addition, via these instruments, ICO, as the payment agent, offered loans totalling more than €20 billion to cover debts and other financial requirements of the local and regional governments.

On the other hand, the Companies Internationalization Fund (FIEM) continues to consolidate itself as an important official instrument for providing support for the internationalisation of Spanish companies. The volume managed increased by 2.5% year-on-year to €5.29 billion.

Issuer in international markets

Over the course of 2015, ICO raised medium and long-term funding totalling €5.762 billion. Of the total funds raised, €3.654 billion was obtained from issues in capital markets, attracting 93% of investors from abroad, and €2.107 billion was raised through loans from different multilateral organisations under highly advantageous conditions.

The main new development was the issue of the first Social Bond for €1 billion in January 2015. The funds raised from this transaction were allocated to financing Spanish SMEs located in regions with the lowest GDP per capita.

In 2015, ICO continued its strategy to diversify its sources of financing, both in relation to the term and its investor base. Some 94% of the amount issued was placed with foreign investors, compared to 80% the previous year. The euro remains its main currency, although issues in dollars increased from 12% the previous year to 31% in 2015.

Positive performance of the main indicators

Instituto de Crédito Oficial posted after-tax profits of €42.4 million. The main management indicators for ICO have continued to perform positively in 2015. Its solvency ratio increased to 32.84% from 23.8% the previous year, while the provision coverage ratio remained at 134%.