The European Investment Fund (EIF), Artigiancredito Toscano (ACT) and five guaranteeing institutions (‘confidis’), have signed an umbrella agreement in Italy under the European Commission’s COSME programme. This transaction benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.
Thanks to the financial backing of the European Commission, EIF is providing a counter-guarantee that will enable ACT, together with the five ‘confidis’, to provide EUR 360 million worth of guarantees to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the north and centre of Italy over the next three years. Over 10 000 Italian SMEs are expected to access financing that would otherwise not have been available to them.
The parties to this agreement comprises of ACT as the coordinating entity, along with the following ‘confidis’: Italia Comfidi Scrl (IC), FidiToscana Spa (FT), Neafidi SC (NF), Cooperfidi Italia SC (CI) and Artigianfidi Vicenza SC (AV).
European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “Italian SMEs are already benefiting from the opportunities offered by the EFSI. I am proud that, with today’s agreement, we will see 10 000 more benefit from the improved financing solutions that will allow them to innovate, grow and create jobs.”
Commenting on the signature, EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert, said: “Thanks to this umbrella agreement, EIF and the six participating ‘confidis’ will be able to reach out to over 10 000 Italian SMEs in the north and the centre of Italy. With EIF’s support, each of the ‘confidis’ will increase their own volume of guarantees. This will enable SMEs currently excluded from traditional financing to gain access to additional guarantees.”
ACT commented: “This umbrella agreement is what we were looking for. It will allow for many of our associated SMEs in Tuscany to improve their access to banks’ financial services through the guarantees provided by EIF. With EIF, we share the same goals, contributing together to the consolidation and the development of the system of small businesses in the territory of Tuscany.”
Date: 09 January 2017
Read more in the EIF website: ENG