BRUSSELS, July 22 -- The European Investment Bank issued the following news release:
The European Investment Bank (EIB) continues its strong support for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and mid-cap companies and strategic infrastructure across the European Union.
The EIB's Board of Directors today approved loans worth EUR 1.1 billion that will benefit benefit SMEs and mid-cap firms in the European Union. This brings total EIB support for SMEs and mid-cap companies approved so far in 2014 to EUR 10.2 billion.
The EIB's Board of Directors comprises representatives of all 28 member state shareholders of the bank and the European Commission. Loan approvals by the board represent an important milestone prior to final financial and legal negotiation where loan amounts may change.
Loans worth a total of EUR 3.4 billion were approved for investment in strategic infrastructure. This includes up to EUR 830 million to support transport projects in Poland, including rehabilitation of railways and construction of new motorways. Up to EUR 972 billion was agreed for infrastructure projects in France including railway, metro and motorway projects. In addition loans for up to EUR 350 million were approved for road safety improvement and rehabilitation Spanish roads.
Reflecting other key priorities of the bank, EUR 1.1 billion of loans were approved for research and development, including up to EUR 500 million for development of more fuel efficient, hybrid vehicles and battery powered electric vehicles in Germany. Up to EUR 350 million was approved for research and development of broadband services in Italy and EUR 477 million will support investment in energy efficiency.
The Board of Directors of the European Investment Fund earlier this week approved 18 new operations through which the EIF will further reinforce its support for SMEs. These deals represent EIF commitments of EUR 613 million and are expected to leverage EUR 1.6 billion of capital. With these new approvals, the number of deals approved in 2014 now amounts to 75, with commitments in the order of EUR 2.1 billion and an expected overall leverage of EUR 9.2 billion.
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