- 3 min
Paris, 12 December 2008
Crédit Agricole and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed two credit lines of a total of €300 million to support investments by local authorities and SMEs to finance their growth.
For the first time in France, in partnership with Crédit Agricole, the EIB has granted a credit line of €200 million dedicated to local authority investment in water and sanitation facilities. As regards the private sector, the EIB has provided financing of €100 million for SMEs as part of the European Council's economic priority plan. This programme consolidates the Crédit Agricole Group's position as the leading financial partner for businesses in France.
The loan agreements have been signed by Philippe de FONTAINE VIVE, Vice-Chairman of the European Investment Bank, and Jean-Yves HOCHER, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Crédit Agricole SA, setting out clear targets :
- Helping local authorities to improve their water management and sanitation services under favourable terms
EU and French legislation concerning water treatment creates a need for considerable investment in improving the quality of drinking water, waste water treatment and access conditions to water for everyone. For the first time in France, the EIB has implemented a credit line intended solely for public investment in the water sector, in partnership with Crédit Agricole, allowing municipal authorities to borrow from Crédit Agricole under the EIB's favourable terms in order to improve the quality of water distribution networks and to build or renovate treatment plants and pumping stations, for example.
- Supporting investment by small and medium enterprises as part of the EIB's plan to support SMEs, launched on the request of the European Council
At the request of the finance ministers of 27 EU Member States following meetings in September and December 2008, the European Investment Bank has launched a plan to support SMEs in Europe. It aims to allocate loans of more than €30 billion to small businesses via commercial banks between now and 2011. The EIB has currently provided a €100 million credit line that will enable French companies with fewer than 250 employees to take out loans with Crédit Agricole under the EIB's favourable terms, to support tangible and intangible investments required for their growth.
About the European Investment Bank : The EIB is the bank of the European Union. Its role is to provide long-term loans to support viable investment projects in both the private and public sectors that support the EU's targets of integration, cohesion and development, with six main priorities: economic and social cohesion, protecting the environment, research and innovation, supporting SMEs, trans-European transport networks and promoting safe, competitive and sustainable energy. In 2007, it provided financing of €41 billion in the European Union.