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EIF and Banca March to unlock €300 million for Spanish companies impacted by COVID-19

  •  
    Date: 08 November 2021
  • EIF guarantee of €210 million to Banca March to mobilise €300 million to support SMEs and small mid-caps in Spain.
  • The agreement is supported by the Pan-European Guarantee Fund, part of the European Union's €540 billion package to address the economic impact of COVID-19.

The European Investment Fund (EIF), part of the European Investment Bank Group, joins forces with Banca March to promote the economic recovery of Spanish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) mainly located in the Balearic Islands. The EIF will grant a guarantee of up to €210 million which, when combined with Banca March’s financing, will amount to €300 million.

It is estimated that the agreement signed will facilitate access to finance at advantageous conditions for more than 350 small businesses affected by the pandemic, thereby also safeguarding employment levels.

This agreement between Banca March and the EIF falls under the Pan-European Guarantee Fund, part of the European Union's €540 billion package to address the economic impact of COVID-19.

Thanks to the Pan-European Guarantee Fund (EGF), Banca March will be incentivised to provide debt financing to SMEs and small mid-caps at favourable terms, ensuring that Spanish companies have sufficient financing available to mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, and are able to continue their growth and development in the medium to long term. The EIF will provide a 70% guarantee on a portfolio of new lending.

EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard stated“We are proud to join forces with Banca March to mobilise financing solutions tailored to the requirements of Spanish SMEs and mid-caps affected by the pandemic. The Pan-European Guarantee Fund is delivering the liquidity needed by small and medium-sized companies in this critical moment.”

EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix said: “Back in December 2020, Banca March was the first bank to reach an agreement with the EIB Group under the Pan-European Guarantee Fund. This is yet another example of the EIB Group’s commitment to support Spain’s financial institutions in creating new credit lines for small businesses in the context of the COVID-19 recovery. By collaborating with Banca March, we can reach numerous companies affected by the pandemic in the Balearic Islands and throughout Spain by providing the liquidity to back their investment needs in the medium to long term.”

CEO of Banca March José Luis Acea said: “As a bank specialised in advising companies, family businesses and business families, since the beginning of the pandemic we have strengthened our commitment to promoting the key role of family businesses in the economic recovery and job creation. We are particularly pleased to be collaborating with the EIF in the Balearic Islands – the birthplace of Banca March. Thanks to these agreements, we will be able to continue supporting businesses and entrepreneurs as they deal with the major challenges caused by COVID-19, facilitating and collaborating on projects that will underpin their crucial role at this time.”

Background information

About the European Investment Fund (EIF)

The European Investment Fund is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops both venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.

The Pan-European Guarantee Fund (EGF) was created by the EIB Group with contributions from all 27 EU Member States to protect companies that are struggling in the crisis caused by COVID-19. With almost €25 billion in guarantees, the EGF allows the EIB and EIF to swiftly offer companies, mostly SMEs and mid-caps, access to loans, guarantees, asset-backed securities, capital and other financial instruments. The EGF forms part of the package of recovery measures put in place by the European Union, with the objective of providing a total of €540 billion to support the hardest hit sectors of the EU economy.

About Banca March

Banca March heads a financial group that is among the biggest in Spain – and is also the only one to be completely family-owned. It was Europe’s most solvent bank in the two stress tests performed by the European Banking Authority (EBA) in 2010 and 2011, and currently has the lowest non-performing asset ratio in the Spanish banking sector and one of the highest levels of solvency in Europe. The strength of Banca March’s business model has also been recognised by credit rating agency Moody’s, which increased its long-term debt rating to A3, the highest level in the Spanish financial system. Banca March is one of the main shareholders of Corporación Financiera Alba, with major stakes in Naturgy (indirect), Acerinox, Indra, Ebro Foods, BME, Viscofan, Euskaltel and Parques Reunidos, among others.

Press contacts

EIF:

Lorenzo Squintani, tel.: +352 691 285 772, l.squintani@eib.org

Website: www.eif.org – Press office: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org

Follow us on Twitter @eif_eu 

Banca March:
Isabel Lafont, tel.: +34 91 432 3109, mlafont@bancamarch.es
Javier Canaves, tel.: +34 971 77 91 27, frcanaves@bancamarch.es

 

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