European Investment Bank offices in Kirchberg. Photo credit: EIB
The European Investment Bank proposed providing up to €40bn in funding “to ease liquidity shortages” experienced by smaller privately held and listed companies in the EU brought on by the covid-19 outbreak.
“The pandemic [is having] a devastating economic impact which is already showing,” Werner Hoyer, the Luxembourg-based development bank’s president, stated in a press release issued on Monday evening. “We will immediately focus on assisting small and medium companies and mid-caps. They badly need help, and they need it quickly.”
The funds will go to guarantee schemes, liquidity lines to banks providing working capital to SMEs and small-cap companies, and the purchase of asset-backed securities “to allow banks to transfer risk on portfolios of SME loans,” according to the announcement.
Separately, the European Stability Mechanism, also based in Kirchberg, is expected to direct some of its “unused lending capacity of €410bn” towards stabilising Europe’s coronavirus-hit economy.
The European Investment Bank said it was behind €63.3bn in project financing last year. The related European Investment Fund backed €10.2bn in financing.