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CEB supports Italian businesses through € 150 million loan to Cassa depositi e prestiti

21 June 2016

PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved a € 150 million programme loan to Cassa depositi e prestiti S.p.A. in order to provide financing to Italian micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). 

MSMEs are an important driver of job creation in Italy, where unemployment remains high at 11.4%, particularly in the group of under-25-year-olds where it is close to 37%. During the global financial crisis, the MSME sector showed considerable resilience and increased its share of the total workforce by 5% between 2008 and 2013. Recognising the positive contribution of the sector to employment creation and economic growth, the Italian government has taken a series of measures to facilitate MSME access to financing. 

It is in this context that CEB funds will benefit small businesses through Cassa depositi e prestiti S.p.A. (CDP), a state-controlled joint-stock company with group assets of € 398 billion. Financing to MSMEs will be channelled through the CDP’s € 5 billion “Plafond Beni Strumentali” apex facility, for a total of up to € 2 million for each eligible business investment. 

The funds provided by the CEB will be used by end-beneficiaries for productive investment projects, including the acquisition of office and production premises, installations, vehicles, machinery and other equipment. 

The aim of the € 150 million programme loan is to enhance the competitiveness of Italian MSMEs and to promote sustainable economic growth by supporting the objectives of the “Plafond Beni Strumentali” apex facility. It is expected that unlocking access to financing for MSMEs and supporting entrepreneurial activity in the country will make a contribution to job creation and preservation.

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AA+ with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable and AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.

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