The European Investment Bank (EIB) approved a €150m loan to Spain’s Caja Navarra designed to introduce a new credit line for financing small businesses.
Under the agreement, Caja Navarra will match the EIB loan with a further €150m, bringing the total to pump into SMEs to €300m.
The loan is aimed at financing SME investment projects mainly in the industrial and service sectors, but also in the field of research, development and innovation (RDI), which is essential to companies’ growth.
The agreement contains two important innovative features:
– working capital financing over (at least) a two-year period, which represents a chance to fund businesses’ current liquidity needs;
– up to 30% of the funds can be directed towards projects mounted by the subsidiaries of large groups, an aspect that will mainly interest the automotive components and agroindustrial sectors.
Commenting on the agreement, Director General of Caja Navarra, Enrique Goñi, said that “as a civic bank, it is our duty to stand by our customers. It is no coincidence that SMEs account for 40% of our balance sheet, and in the current economic circumstances we have to do everything possible to provide them with the necessary finance. And that is what today’s agreement does”.