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EIB and UniCredit sign €700 million loan agreement in support of Italian businesses

€200 million for youth employment, €400 million for investment, €100 million for environmental protection




In the past few days the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the UniCredit Group have signed in Milan three new medium to long-term loan agreements totalling €700 million aimed at pumping fresh resources into Italy's economy.


Three areas are targeted: besides a loan for small and medium-sized businesses, one of the credit lines (€200 million) is aimed at firms creating new jobs for young people and another is destined for projects designed to combat and prevent damage caused by natural disasters.


The loan for youth employment is being provided under the Jobs for Youth programme launched by the EIB following the European Council's meeting in Brussels in June 2013. This €200 million credit line opened with UniCredit will target innovative SMEs, midcaps and startups with a view to fostering the creation of new jobs for young people in the 15 to 29 age group. This operation brings total EIB funding under the Jobs for Youth programme in Italy to €440 million.


"Our long-standing cooperation with UniCredit is being reinforced by these operations, which are all aimed at channelling new funds into Italy's economy at a time when the green shoots of recovery are beginning to appear. I wish to stress the importance of these loans to firms employing or training young people and to startups: only investment can combat the growing scourge of youth unemployment", said EIB Vice-President Dario Scannapieco.


 "These new agreements signed with the EIB confirm our bank's commitment to aiding Italy's businesses and will enable us to step up our enterprise support with medium and long-term loans to spur the recovery ­- with a particular focus on a subject that is close to our heart: the creation of jobs for young people. These operations with the EIB form part of the Group's broader enterprise support programme, which provides for more than €6 billion worth of lending for the corporate segment alone in 2014" said UniCredit's CEO Federico Ghizzoni


Youth employment (€200 million)


€200 million is being made available via UniCredit and UniCredit Leasing to finance the projects of Italian firms creating jobs for young people.


SMES (up to 250 employees) and midcaps (up to 3 000 employees) meeting at least one of the following criteria will be eligible for loans:

- they have hired at least one worker (three in the case of midcaps) aged between 15 and 29 in the six months prior to the loan request or will do so in the following six months;

- they provide vocational training programmes or internships for young people;

- they work together with a school, technical college or university to employ young people (e.g. in summer internships);

- they have an ownership structure in which the majority of the capital (over 50%) is held by young people under 29 years of age.


Eligible projects may not cost more than €25 million.


Small and medium-sized enterprises (€400 million)


The EIB will provide €400 million for Italian SMEs on particularly favourable terms. This credit line, which will always be channelled through UniCredit and UniCredit Leasing, will serve to finance both new investment and investment already underway but not yet finished.


Eligible projects may not cost more than €25 million.


All productive sectors are eligible for loans (agriculture, crafts, industry, commerce, tourism and services). The loans may be used to purchase, construct, extend or renovate buildings, purchase plant, equipment, vehicles or machinery, cover project-related costs, additional charges and intangible assets, including research, development and innovation costs, and provide the working capital that is always needed in connection with operational activities.

Unicredit has undertaken to provide its own resources to beneficiary SMEs, thereby increasing the overall ceiling of the loans made available in support of Italy's economy.


Environmental protection (€100 million)


The third credit line is designed to finance investment by SMEs and midcaps aimed at rebuilding infrastructure in the industrial, tourism and farming sectors in regions hit by natural disasters (most recently, Sardinia, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany and Liguria).

It may also be used to finance prevention works such as anti-earthquake and hydrogeological rehabilitation schemes in Italy.




Milan, 18 March 2014