The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed an agreement with Banca Agrileasing, a member of the Istituto centrale delle Casse rurali e artigiane (ICCREA) Group, for a loan totalling €327m for Italian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Under the loan, which was set up as a structured securitisation operation via ICCREA Banca, projects of up to €12.5m promoted by industrial and services SMEs throughout Italy are eligible for financing.
The EIB funds will be advanced to the beneficiary SMEs via Banca Agrileasing, which distributes its products either directly or through its extensive network of cooperative banks (Banche di Credito Cooperativo – BCC).
This agreement is particularly innovative as the bank’s extensive network in Italy will enable the finance to be made available to SMEs operating in rural areas far from large urban centres.
In the past month, the EIB has granted loans totalling nearly €600m to this sector in Italy. Other operations include:
– a €150m loan to Banca Popolare dell’Emilia Romagna (BPER) and its leasing arm Sardaleasing
– a €100m loan to Cariparma Group (Cassa di Risparmio di Parma e Piacenza, Banca Popolare Friuladria and Crédit Agricole Leasing Italia).