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13 March, 2014
EIB continues support for European SMEs – Strong focus on innovation
The European Investment Bank continues its strong support for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and mid-cap companies in the European Union. The EIB also puts strong emphasis on investments in innovation. EIB President Werner Hoyer stated: “SMEs are the backbone of the European economy and the main provider of jobs. They will remain a top priority for the EIB Group this year.” He also said: “Given the global competition, Europe has to enhance its long-term growth potential by supporting investments with strong positive external effects like research, development, innovation and infrastructure. Europe must unlock its bottlenecks to sustainable growth.”
The EIB’s Board of Directors today approved loans worth up to EUR 5.6 billion for the benefit of SMEs and Mid-Caps. This brings total EIB support for SMEs and Mid-Caps so far in 2014 to EUR 6.8 billion.
In the field of innovation and broadband infrastructure the Board approved loans for projects worth up to EUR 1.4 billion to strengthen the competitiveness of European business. This includes a loan of up to EUR 750 million for the roll-out of high speed public broadband telecommunication networks throughout France. Another example is the loan of up to EUR 100 million to Gruppo Sorin for financing research and development activities in the fields of cardiac surgery, rhythm management and innovative medical devices addressing heart failure.
Regarding other key priorities of the bank, loans of up to EUR 700 million were approved for strategic infrastructure projects. Up to EUR 455m will go to the area of renewable energy.
At the European Investment Fund, the Board of Directors approved on 12 March 11 new operations through which the EIF will further reinforce its support for SMEs. These deals represent EIF commitments of EUR 388 million and are expected to leverage EUR 1.2 billion of capital.
With these new approvals, the number of EIF deals approved in 2014 amounts to 17, with commitments in the order of EUR 487.5 million and an expected overall leverage of EUR 1.5 billion. The total volume of EIB Group, comprising EIB and EIF, in support of SMEs in 2014 amounts to EUR 7.3 billion.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
Christof Roche, +32 479 65 05 88, firstname.lastname@example.org