Investment Plan for Europe: EUR 100m for Belgian companies as EIF and ING sign InnovFin deal

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and ING Belgium have signed a guarantee agreement to increase lending to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-caps in Belgium.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 —

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and ING Belgium have signed a guarantee agreement to increase lending to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-caps in Belgium. This transaction benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.
The new agreement will allow ING Belgium to provide EUR 100m of loans to innovative companies in Belgium over the next two years. The loans will be enabled by an EIF guarantee under the “EU InnovFin finance for Innovators” initiative with financial backing from the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme. The agreement signed today will make it possible for ING to offer innovative companies additional financing at favourable conditions.
Commenting on the agreement, Marianne Thyssen, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: “Today's agreement marks another milestone in making sure that the Investment Plan for Europe can reach out to Belgian companies. Over the next two years ING Belgium will be able to offer €100 million in loans under favourable conditions to innovative Belgian SMEs and midcaps."
EIF Deputy Chief Executive, Roger Havenith, commented: “Our partnership with ING which started in Luxembourg earlier this year is growing stronger and we are pleased to be extending the InnovFin SME Guarantee product to businesses in Belgium. The support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments and InnovFin helps us to increase the finance made available for SMEs and small mid-caps in Belgium.”

Erik Van Den Eynden, Head of Midcorporates & Institutionals at ING Bank Belgium, welcomed the agreement with the EIF: “This agreement is completely in line with the Think Forward strategy of ING Belgium. We are  pleased that the European Investment Fund  gave us another opportunity to empower our clients to stay a step ahead by  enabling them to invest in innovative projects. The extension of our partnership with EIF and the growth and development opportunities this offers is very much appreciated by our clients.”
This is one of the first waves of InnovFin transactions in Belgium signed thanks to EFSI support. The deal reflects the EIB Group’s commitment to respond swiftly to calls from Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament for a rapid launch of concrete initiatives under EFSI, accelerating lending and guaranteeing transactions capable of boosting jobs and growth in the EU.

About the European Investment Fund
The European Investment Fund's (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops both venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment. EIF’s total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 8.8bn at end 2014. With investments in over 500 funds, EIF is a leading player in European venture due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in high-tech and early-stage segments. EIF’s guarantees loan portfolio totalled over EUR 5.6bn in over 350 operations at end 2014, ranking it as a major European SME guarantee provider and a leading micro-finance guarantor. More information on the EIF's work under the EFSI is available here.

About  ING Belgium
ING Belgium SA/NV services all banking customers with a wide range of financial products and via the distribution channel of their choice. ING Belgium SA/NV employs 8,337 FTE* and is a full subsidiary of ING Bank N.V. which services 34 million private, business and institutional clients in more than 40 countries in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and Australia.
 
* End December 2015

About the Investment Plan for Europe
The Investment Plan focuses on removing obstacles to investment, providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects and making smarter use of new and existing financial resources. The Investment Plan is already showing results. The European Investment Bank (EIB) estimates that by February 2016, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) triggered more than €60 billion of investment in Europe.
Find out the state of play as of January 2016, including a break-down by sector and by country. For more information see the FAQs.

About InnovFin
http://www.eib.org/products/blending/innovfin/

About Horizon2020
http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en

Press contacts:
EIF: David Yormesor
Tel.: +352 42 66 88 346, e-mail: d.yormesor@eif.org
Press department ING Belgium: + 32 2 547 24 84
Pressoffice@ing.be
 
European Commission: Siobhán Millbright
Tel.:+ 32 229 57361, e-mail: Siobhan.millbright@ec.europa.eu

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