The loan worth €200m to Italian agribusinesses and SMEs will help in financing building refurbishment, plant and equipment purchase.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and GruppoBancarioCooperativoIccrea (Iccrea Group) have agreed to provide €200m ($221m) in financing to SMEs and agribusinesses in Italy.
The agreement will enable 14 of Iccrea Group’s banks to offer loans to Italian SMEs, including in the agricultural sector.
25% of the loans have been reserved for agriculture
The new loans are intended for businesses with fewer than 250 employees that operate in all productive sectors such as crafts, industry, retail, tourism and services, with 25% reserved for agriculture.
Loans have been allocated for the purchase, construction, extension and refurbishment of buildings, the purchase of plant, equipment, vehicles or machinery, expenses, additional charges and intangible assets connected to the projects, including research, development and innovation costs, and ongoing working capital requirements for operational purposes.
The operation of the loans will begin as a kind of securitisation deal where the participating banks will transfer a loan portfolio to a financing vehicle, which will issue €200m worth of bonds underwritten by the EIB.
The 14 cooperative banks can then generate the same amount of new funding, passing on to the final beneficiaries the favourable interest rate and maturity terms of the EIB’s funding.
The 14 Iccrea Group banks that will provide the funding include EMIL Banca, BCC Umbria, Banca dellaMarca, BCC Abruzzese-CappellesulTavo, Banca AlpiMarittime, Banca del Piceno, Banca d’Alba, BCC Ravennate, Forlivese e Imolese, BCC di Ostra e Morro d’Alba, Banca Patavina, BCC di Pontassieve, BCC di Recanati e Colmurano, BCC deiColliAlbani, Banca Mediocredito del Friuli Venezia Giulia.
EIB Italy operations director Miguel Morgado said: “The EIB is particularly pleased to be able to operate via the Iccrea Group thanks to its 140 cooperative banks and 2 600 branches throughout Italy.
“Its member banks are often the only reference point for families and businesses in rural, hilly or mountainous areas not served by the sector’s big players. In this respect, the favourable terms of the EIB’s funding are truly available to all.”