The European Investment Fund (EIF), part of the EIB Group, is providing UniCredit Group with two guarantees worth €370 million (US$406 million) to boost investment made by small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) across seven EU countries, including Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The transactions are backed by InvestEU, the European Union’s long-term funding programme to support sustainable investment, innovation and job creation in Europe aiming to mobilize at least €372 billion in investments for EU policy priorities by 2027.
The EIF guarantees backed by InvestEU will enable UniCredit to provide loans on favourable conditions to 2,500 SMEs and small mid-caps across Europe and mobilize investment of around €1 billion into the real economy. The resources will primarily go towards investments contributing to the twin green and digital transitions, but also to boost the cultural, educational and social sectors.
As part of UniCredit’s green lending strategy, loans will also be provided to housing associations and individuals for their own renewable energy and energy efficiency investments in residential buildings, as well as to promote the development of sustainable mobility.
“The excellent relationship between the EIB and UniCredit Groups is key to reaching as many small businesses as possible across central and eastern Europe, ensuring they have the resources needed to invest in a brighter, more sustainable and innovative future,” says Gelsomina Vigliotti, chair of the EIF. “This operation shows the EIF’s commitment to facilitating access to finance for Europe’s 23 million SMEs, which represent 99% of all businesses and provide around three-quarters of all jobs in the European Union.”