(Alliance News) - Supporting the economic growth and green transition of Italian companies, with a focus on projects based in the Mezzogiorno and climate transition. These are among the main objectives of agreements totaling EUR650 million signed Monday in Milan by Gelsomina Vigliotti, vice president of the European Investment Bank, and Flavia Mazzarella, president of BPER Banca Spa.

As a result of this EIB financial intervention, it is estimated that more than EUR1.7 billion worth of investments in the economy will be activated, one-third of which will be in southern regions.

In detail, the EIB will provide direct financing to the BPER Banca Group -- BPER and Banco di Sardegna Spa -- of up to EUR500 million over the next three years, with the first EUR200 million tranche signed on Monday, and a EUR150 million guarantee contract. The latter represents the first agreement signed in Italy in the form of a direct BEI loan-to-loan guarantee on new finance granted to midcaps.

The guarantee, called Linked Risk Sharing, will cover up to 50 percent of new lending, i.e., financing for investment and working capital support of Italian midcaps, i.e., those companies employing 250 to 3,000 people. BPER will create a portfolio of new loans totaling up to EUR300 million, thereby increasing its lending capacity and offering businesses access to financing on favorable terms in the form of reduced interest rates, longer maturities, and lower collateral requirements.

This is the second time the EIB has chosen BPER as the pilot bank for Italy for its guarantee instruments, the Linked Risk sharing comes after Life 4 energy, a financing product for energy efficiency that BPER managed exclusively from 2017 to 2023.

The EUR200 million loan, on the other hand, represents the first tranche of a larger credit limit of up to EUR500 million, which aims to finance the investment and working capital needs of Italian small and medium-sized enterprises.

EIB resources will be channelled to businesses through the networks and branches of BPER Banca and Banco di Sardegna, and Sardaleasing, a product factory of the BPER Group. The operation will help mobilize investments of more than EUR1.4 billion in the real economy, of which about 30 percent will be dedicated to projects that contribute to environmental objectives, and about 40 percent dedicated to projects developed in southern regions.

BPER Banca's stock is down 0.6 percent at EUR3.49 per share.

By Giuseppe Fabio Ciccomascolo, Alliance News senior reporter

Comments and questions to redazione@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2024 Alliance News IS Italian Service Ltd. All rights reserved.