The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano – Südtiroler Sparkasse (CRB) have signed a guarantee agreement on a portfolio of loans of EUR 60 million to improve access to finance for small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs) in Italy. This agreement benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe, the Juncker Plan.
Under the InnovFin agreement, CRB will provide loans on favourable terms to innovative SMEs and small mid-caps in Italy over the next two years. EIF’s guarantee is provided under the initiative “EU InnovFin finance for Innovators” with the financial backing under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme. The agreement is expected to benefit 75 companies.
European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, said: "Thanks to this new agreement, small and medium businesses in Italy will get access to the funding they need to get their innovative projects off the ground. In Italy, the Juncker Plan has already mobilised over EU 50 billion of additional investments, making the country the second beneficiary of the Plan in absolute terms, for the direct benefit of Italian businesses, and of the Italian people."
Speaking at the signing event in Milan, EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert, commented: “I am delighted to be signing this new InnovFin agreement, to support innovative businesses. The EU-supported guarantee will enable Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano to offer more favourable conditions to its client base – primarily Italian SMEs and small mid-caps to help them develop and grow their businesses”.
Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano – Südtiroler Sparkasse Chief Executive Officer, Nicola Calabrò, said: “It’s aN honour for us to cooperate, as first bank in the province of Bolzano, with this prestigious and important European institution. Our enterprises now can count on fresh resources to sustain their investments in innovation, in order to face the challenges and the future scenarios at best. As territorial bank we grant our corporate customers an accurate and personal specific consultancy referred to preferential financing. We are therefore able to meet the specific exigencies of the enterprises and assist them in the procedure to access the allocated funds.”
The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. More information on EIF's work under the EFSI is available here.
About Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano – Südtiroler Sparkasse
Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano – Südtiroler Sparkasse is one of the most important independent saving bank remained in Italy. First bank in Alto Adige, it’s present in the whole North-East, counts more than 200.000 customers distributed over more than 100 branches and a main branch in Germany (Munich). Established in 1854, since 1992 it’s a joint stock company. The same year Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano has been established, which now is the main shareholder with 65,81% of shares, the residual 34,10% is distributed over more than 26.000 shareholders. More information on Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano – Südtiroler Sparkasse is available here
About the Investment Plan for Europe
The Investment Plan for Europe - the Juncker Plan - focuses on boosting investments to create jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the central pillar of the Juncker Plan. It provides a first loss guarantee, allowing the EIB group to invest in more projects. The projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI so far are expected to mobilise more than EUR 344 billion in investments and support around 793,000 SMEs across all 28 Member States. The latest figures on EFSI by sector and country can be found here.
The InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility provides guarantees and counter-guarantees on debt financing of between EUR 25,000 and EUR 7.5 million in order to improve access to loan finance for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises and small mid-caps (up to 499 employees). The facility is managed by EIF, and is rolled out through financial intermediaries – banks and other financial institutions – in EU Member States and Associated Countries. Under this facility, financial intermediaries are guaranteed by EIF against a proportion of their losses incurred on the debt financing covered under the facility.
19 octubre 2018