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    BEI/02/31 -EN

    Luxembourg, 28 May 2002

EIB: eur 237 mln to Cardine Banca for Italy's SMEs and small and medium-sized infrastructure projects

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's long-term financing institution, has advanced a EUR 20037 mln global loan to Cardine Banca S.p.A., the parent company of one Italy's medium sized banking groups with strong deposit and lending franchises in central and north-eastern Italy.

The financing will support projects in industry and services promoted by SMEs throughout Italy, as well as small and medium-sized projects in infrastructure, energy and environmental protection.

The loan will be advanced in two tranches, respectively intermediated by Cardine Leasing S.p.A; (EUR 140 mln) and by regional banks subsidiaries of Cardine Banca: Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo , Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna, Cassa di Risparmio di Venezia, Banca Popolare dell'Adriatico, Cassa di Risparmio di Udine e Pordenone, Banca Agricola di Cerea and Cassa di Risparmio di Gorizia (EUR 6097 mln).

The financing will sustain projects contributing to increase the productivity and competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises, promote investments leading to a more rational use of energy and support projects concerned with environmental protection and reduction of pollution. Furthermore, the global loan will promote small and medium-sized infrastructure investments, including projects in the health and education sectors.

Established in early 2000, Cardine Banca is the result of the merger of Casse Venete and Casse Emiliane Romagnole Caer, the former holding companies of, among other banks, Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo, and Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna, respectively.

For further information about the EIB's activities, please contact the Bank's Information and Communications Department, Miss Daniela Sacchi

Tel. +352 4379-3130, Fax + 352 4379-3188 or Internet:

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