The European Investment Fund (EIF), part of the European Investment Bank Group, Ibercaja Banco, S.A. and Ibercaja Leasing y Financiación, S.A. have signed today in Zaragoza a guarantee agreement under the SME Initiative facility in Spain.
The agreement aims to facilitate access to finance for Spanish SMEs by providing a 50% guarantee on the financing granted by Ibercaja and Ibercaja Leasing. Thanks to the guarantee, up to EUR 170 million of SME loans and leases will be made available at favourable conditions, including reduced interest rates, over the next two years. The transaction is expected to benefit around 2,000 SMEs in the Aragón, Andalucía, Extremadura and Madrid regions.
The first operation supported by Ibercaja under the guarantee has already been granted for a loan of EUR 216,000 at a reduced interest rate. Lacor Metal-Antares, S.L. in the manufacturing sector providing leasing solutions for tube bending machines can now broaden its client base and strengthen its distribution network and product offer, as a result of the Ibercaja guarantee.
The SME Initiative is a joint programme blending support from the European Commission, EIB Group and Member States with a view to stimulate SME financing by providing partial risk cover for SME loan portfolios originated by financial entities. Alongside European Structural and Investment Funds contributed by Member States, the SME Initiative is co-funded through Horizon 2020 resources as well as benefits from EIB Group resources.
Spain was the first country to implement the SME Initiative, committing to contribute an amount of EUR 800 million out of its 2014-2020 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) envelope. Ibercaja is the 9th financial entity joining this highly successful SME Initiative, which has already supported more than 35,000 SMEs including self-employed individuals and micro-enterprises | W3 Inforegio, 4.5.2017