The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Official Credit Institute (ICO) have signed a loan for the amount of EUR 500 million with the aim of increasing financing for SMEs and medium-sized companies (up to 3,000 employees) mainly in the industrial and services sector.

The EIB loan offers SMEs financing on favorable terms at low interest. Within this agreement, the ICO undertakes to transfer the advantage of the EIB's resources to the final beneficiaries. The funds will be used to finance companies' medium and long-term investment as well as their liquidity needs.

This financing line, which will be completed by another EUR 500 million that ICO will contribute, will be used to finance projects located in Spain. It is estimated that around 35% of the loan amount will go to projects in convergence regions, where SMEs are a fundamental pillar for creating and maintaining jobs.

The last loan signed between the EIB and the ICO, also of 500 million euros, dates from November 22, 2012. Since 2008, the global volume of loans of this nature that the EIB has signed with the ICO amounts to 3 billion of euros.

In 2012, the EIB allocated € 13 billion to finance SMEs, and a record level was reached, benefiting more than 200,000 companies across Europe. In the same year, in Spain, the European Investment Bank contributed 2,680 million euros for new lines of credit to finance investment projects of this type of company, having benefited 24,280 projects.

The Official Credit Institute is a public bank that has different Mediation Lines, implemented through financial entities, and grants financing to self-employed people and companies to support investment projects and meet liquidity needs. The ICO granted in 2012, through these lines, 11,511 million euros to a total of 162,075 companies, for an average amount per company of 70,000 euros.

About the European Investment Bank (EIB):

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term financing institution of the European Union whose shareholders are its Member States. It provides long-term financing for viable investment projects in order to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of EU policy.

About the Official Credit Institute (ICO):

The Official Credit Institute is a public bank with the legal form of a public business entity, attached to the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the Secretary of State for Economy and Business Support. It has the legal nature of a credit institution, and is considered a State Financial Agency. As a Public Bank, the ICO grants loans to finance companies' investment and liquidity operations, both inside and outside Spain, either through the mediation of the Entities.

Financial, or with direct financing. On the other hand, as the State Financial Agency, the ICO manages the official financing instruments, which the Spanish State provides to promote exports and development aid.

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