The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Credito Emiliano SpA (“Credem”), assisted by Finanziaria Internazionale (“FinInt”), have signed the first COSME transaction in Italy benefitting from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) through which the Investment Plan for Europe is being deployed by the European Commission and the EIB Group.
The COSME agreement will provide Credem with a guarantee allowing the organisation to increase its lending volumes over the next 2 years, by providing loans to SMEs that would otherwise receive less amount of lendings.
The EU support is expected to leverage a portfolio of EUR 550m to the benefit of over 14,000 companies.
Commenting on the transaction, EIF Deputy Chief Executive, Marjut Santoni said: “I am pleased to be announcing the first COSME guarantee agreement in Italy with the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments guarantee. I am confident that this new agreement will build on our successful cooperation with Credem, to benefit many more viable Italian SMEs”.
European Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska said: “Thanks to the COSME agreement more small business in Italy will be able to get a loan, invest and grow. Improving access to finance for SMEs and boosting growth are the Commission’s priorities and the EU Investment Plan helps make them a reality.”
Commenting on the operation, Angelo Campani, Deputy General Manager of Credem, said: “This new operation between Credem and EIF is the third agreement over the last 18 months to support Italian SMEs, bringing the total amount to EUR 850m. The agreement is representative of Credem’s commitment in supporting with simple and concrete initiatives the needs of businesses in a critical and complex period. We are delighted of being the first Italian bank in the position of using such instrument which will allow to facilitate the access to finance to small corporates. These clients are the most hit by the current economic situation, characterised by weak internal demand and consumption towards the SMEs are typically exposed.”
This is the first COSME transaction in Italy and the second COSME transaction in Europe thanks to EFSI support, reflecting the EIB Group’s commitment to respond swiftly to calls from Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament for a rapid launch of concrete initiatives under EFSI, accelerating lending and guaranteeing transactions capable of boosting jobs and growth in the EU.
Businesses can contact selected financial institutions in their country to access EU financing by clicking on the following link: www.access2finance.eu
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