Support the economic growth and ecological transition of Italian companies, with particular attention to projects based in the South and to the climate transition. These are among the main objectives of the agreements for a total of 650 million euros signed today in Milan by Gelsomina Vigliotti, vice president of the EIB, and Flavia Mazzarella, president of Bper Banca. Given this financial intervention by the EIB, it is estimated that investments in the economy of over 1.7 billion euros will be activated, of which a third will be in the Southern regions.
In detail, the EIB will provide direct financing to the Bper Banca Group (Bper Banca and Banco di Sardegna) of up to 500 million euros over the next three years, of which the first tranche of 200 million signed today, and a guarantee contract of 150 million euros. The latter represents the first agreement signed in Italy in the form of a direct EIB loan guarantee for a loan on new finance granted to Mid Caps. The guarantee, called Linked Risk Sharing, will cover up to 50% of the new loan, i.e. financing for investments and support to the working capital of Italian Mid Caps, i.e. those companies that employ from 250 to 3,000 workers. Bper will create a portfolio of new loans for a total amount of up to 300 million euros, thus increasing its lending capacity and offering businesses access to financing on advantageous terms in the form of reduced interest rates, longer maturities, and lower requirements of guarantees.
It is the second time, the note continues, that the EIB has chosen Bper as a pilot bank for Italy for its instruments under guarantee. Linked Risk sharing comes after Life 4 energy, a financing product for energy efficiency that Bper has managed exclusively from 2017 to 2023. The 200 million euro loan represents the first tranche of a larger credit limit, up to 500 million euros, which aims to finance the investment and working capital needs of small and medium-sized businesses Italian companies. The EIB’s resources will be channeled to businesses through the networks and branches of Bper Banca and Banco di Sardegna, and of Sardaleasing, the product factory of the Bper Group. The operation will help mobilize investments of over 1.4 billion euros in the real economy, of which approximately 30% dedicated to projects that contribute to environmental objectives, and approximately 40% dedicated to projects developed in the Southern regions.
“The agreements signed today contribute to further strengthening the relationship with Bper and demonstrate the EIB’s closeness to small and medium-sized Italian businesses, which we support every year on average with around 3 billion euros”, commented Vigliotti. “Collaboration with the banking system is essential to reach the greatest number of businesses in the area and promote the two major transversal objectives of the EIB, namely climate action and economic cohesion”, he concluded.
“The signing of these agreements represents a significant step in our long-standing partnership with the EIB,” commented Mazzarella. “We are honored to have been selected as an innovative and attentive intermediary, responsible for managing exclusive products that aim to support businesses during a crucial period of economic and environmental transition. The trust granted by the EIB to Bper, also through the signing for the first time in Italy of an agreement in the form of a direct guarantee, further strengthens our commitment to supporting SMEs and Mid Caps, playing a crucial role in promoting competitiveness and stimulating sustainable development. In fact, we want – he continued – to further strengthen the our key role in promoting economic cohesion and as an important partner and consultant for businesses, committing ourselves to providing financial solutions tailored to the needs of those companies that wish to develop in a rapidly evolving economic environment”, concluded the president of Bper.