The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a 500 million euro loan to the Official Credit Institute (ICO) to finance investment projects promoted by SMEs, mainly in the industrial and services sector. This financing will be used for both investments and currency, under preferential conditions. The ICO will contribute an additional 500 million to the loan received from the EIB, so the agreement represents an injection of 1,000 million euros of financing in total in favor of SMEs. The signing of the contract has taken place in Luxembourg with the participation of the EIB Vice President, Magdalena Álvarez and the ICO President, Román Escolano.

The EIB loan will be dedicated to financing small and medium-sized projects promoted by SMEs, mainly in convergence regions of Spain, where SMEs are a fundamental pillar for maintaining and creating jobs, and in the European Union. In addition, the loan will also support projects that contribute to saving energy, diversifying energy resources, and promoting private initiatives in the education and health sectors.

This line of credit joins the last loan signed with the ICO in June 2012 in favor of SMEs, underlining the EIB's significant support for Spain's economic recovery, allowing SMEs to have access to financing on preferential terms. This last financing was fully arranged, benefiting a total of 12,863 investment projects, mainly concentrated in the automotive industry sector (3,221 projects), manufacturing industry (2,046 projects) and transportation (1,949 projects).

This is the fifth loan of this nature that the EIB has signed with the ICO for financing SMEs, for a total amount of 2,500 million euros. The total amount of EIB financing to date, joins the disbursement of the same amount by ICO for financing SMEs, which has meant a financial injection of € 5 billion in recent years and complements Other lines of collaboration that the EIB has maintained with ICO since 1986. The collaboration between the two institutions demonstrates the special effort that both are going to make to facilitate access to credit for SMEs in the current economic circumstances.

Supporting SMEs is one of the preferred objectives of the European Union and therefore constitutes one of the EIB's investment priorities. This loan is part of the EIB and ICO policy to support small and medium-sized enterprises, which seeks to facilitate, in the current economic situation, access to financing on favorable terms, in terms of longer terms, flexibility in disbursements or lower interest rates, which will undoubtedly result in the sustainability of small and medium-sized companies and, consequently, in job creation.

About the EIB

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

About the ICO

The Official Credit Institute is a public business entity, attached to the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. The ICO finances investment and liquidity projects for Spanish companies, so that they are more competitive and contribute to the country's economic progress.

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