The European Investment Bank (EIB) board of governors has agreed to focus lending activity in 2010 on those projects that are likely to have greatest impact on economic recovery and jobs. Larger EU corporations are experiencing an improvement in their access to capital markets and funding and are not expected to make as much use of EIB finance as they did in 2009. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access to finance however remains difficult and will remain a priority for the EIB in 2010.
The governors also encouraged the EIB to continue its policy of meeting market gaps by increasing the ceiling for Special Activities, from €6.35bn achieved in 2009 to €8bn. The overall lending target for 2010 was set at €66bn.
“With a lending target of €66bn euro, the EIB is on track to achieve the additional €50bn economic support package it pledged to deliver in 2009 and 2010,” said EIB president Philippe Maystadt.
The EIB has already delivered more than €20bn of the €30bn in extra loans to SMEs that it agreed to provide over 2008-2011 within the context of the European Economic Recovery Plan.
In his remarks to the board, Maystadt also highlighted the EIB’s role in contributing to the post-Copenhagen climate action financing agenda. “Adoption of the Commission’s proposal for an extra €2bn of EIB finance for climate action projects outside the EU would represent an important step towards meeting the Copenhagen commitments,” he said. “Establishing a platform that would allow the EIB, the Commission, Member States and other European financial institutions to combine grants with loans for climate change mitigation and adaptation projects is a proposal that we have put forward to make concrete progress in the fight against climate change.”
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