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EIB and Grupo Cajamar will direct €980 million in new financing to Spanish SMEs and mid-caps in rural areas and to green projects

08 de Junio, 2023

A large proportion of the final beneficiaries of the agreement are based in cohesion regions — where per capita gross domestic product is below the EU average and where it is particularly difficult to access financing.

Firma del presidente de BCC-Grupo Cajamar, Luis Rodríguez, y el vicepresidente del BEI, Ricardo Mourinho

Banco de Crédito Social Cooperativo-Grupo Cajamar Chairman Luis Rodríguez and  EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho during signing.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar have signed a purchase agreement of a €350 million covered bond issue. The transaction enables the cooperative bank Cajamar to make up to €784 million in financing available to support investment in projects of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps, especially those operating in rural areas, including those with links to the agri-food sector, and up to €196 million to accelerate the green transition.

A large proportion of the final beneficiaries of the agreement are based in cohesion regions — where per capita gross domestic product is below the EU average and where it is particularly difficult to access financing. The operation will thus promote equitable growth and convergence between EU regions, which is one of the key aims of the EIB’s lending activities.

EIB Advisory and Green Gateway
The operation also includes an advisory service that will be carried out by EIB Advisory — the EU bank’s advisory and consultancy department — via its innovative Green Gateway programme. This is the first advisory operation signed by a bank and EIB Advisory in Spain. Through the Green Gateway advisory programme, funded by the InvestEU Advisory Centre, Grupo Cajamar will strengthen its internal capacities and processes for assessing, originating, financing, monitoring, and reporting of green projects, while also deepening its understanding of the EU’s regulatory framework for sustainable finance (EU Taxonomy and climate risk management).

Through the Green Gateway, EIB intermediary banks can access the Green Eligibility Checker, an online tool that allows them to verify the eligibility of a project for EIB green financing and the environmental impact of each project. Green Gateway advice will help Grupo Cajamar to identify projects that can receive investment within the framework of the financing provided by the EIB and the successful implementation of other financing programs that were already underway between the EIB and Cajamar.

The agreement was signed today in Madrid by EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix and Banco de Crédito Social Cooperativo-Grupo Cajamar Chairman Luis Rodríguez.

“The EIB and Grupo Cajamar regularly join forces to give SMEs and mid-caps in rural areas easier access to finance. This new financing operation and the added value provided by our EIB Advisory department will help facilitate and accelerate access to investment for SMEs and mid-caps in rural areas and in the strategic agri-food sector,” said EIB’s Ricardo Mourinho Félix. “A significant proportion of the beneficiaries of this operation are in cohesion regions, in line with the EIB’s objective of promoting economic, social and territorial cohesion in the European Union, a priority to which the EIB Group directed over €4 billion in Spain in 2022”.

BCC-Grupo Cajamar Chairman Luis Rodríguez González highlighted that “this new collaboration with the EIB will make it easier for our Group to continue contributing to the progress and modernization of the agri-food sector and the social economy as a whole, giving support to small and medium-sized enterprises that generate wealth and employment in their territories. Likewise, we will contribute to give new impulse to the sustainable development of the business sector, key to economic growth and the well-being of citizens, and thereby continue to generate a positive economic, social and environmental impact in our field of activity”.

About the EIB
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It finances sound investments that contribute towards EU policy goals.

EIB Advisory is the part of the EIB providing advisory and technical, financial and strategic assistance to project promoters, regional and national authorities, and financial intermediaries interested in EIB financing products.

The EIB Group — formed by the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund (EIF) — reported another year of excellent results in Spain, with record support for climate action and environmental sustainability projects and €9.9 billion of total financing signed in 2022.

About the Green Gateway programme
Funded by the InvestEU Advisory Hub, the Green Gateway advisory program was established by the EIB to assist financial institutions in facilitating loans for climate change mitigation, adaptation, and environmental sustainability projects under the framework of the financing provided by the EIB.

The Green Gateway advisory program proposes two areas of intervention: a web platform, and a bilateral advisory program. The online platform offers a green eligibility check tool, the Green Checker, and an e-library with guidelines and case studies on green investment criteria. The bilateral advisory program provides capacity building, market analysis and support to banks to accelerate and scale up green lending to SMEs, mid-caps, municipalities and other entities. Currently, three financial institutions in Spain benefit from this bilateral program.

About Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar
It is a benchmark for Spanish cooperative banking and one of the ten significant financial groups and entities in Spain. Its activity is aimed at meeting the financing, savings and investment needs of business, self-employed workers, professional groups and individuals. With a total managed business volume of volume of business managed of 99,100 million euros and total assets of 62,982 million, it has 3.7 million customers and 5,226 employees who provide services through its 1,016 branches and agencies and its digital channels of Electronic Banking and App.

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