InvestEU: European Investment Fund and UniCredit sign agreements to finance around €1 billion of investments by SMEs in seven countries across Central and Eastern Europe

The European Investment Fund (EIF) provides UniCredit Group with two guarantees worth €370 million to boost investments carried out by small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) across seven EU countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The transactions are backed by the InvestEU programme.

These guarantees will enable UniCredit to provide loans at favourable conditions to 2,500 SMEs and small mid-caps across Europe and mobilise investments of about €1 billion in support of the real economy. The resources will be primarily dedicated to investments that contribute to the green and digital transition, but also to boost the cultural, educational, and social sectors.

As part of UniCredit’s green lending strategy, loans will also be provided to housing associations and individuals for their renewable energy and energy efficiency investments in residential buildings, as well as to promote the development of sustainable mobility.

Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy, said: “InvestEU is a key instrument for supporting SMEs and small mid-caps across Europe. Thanks to this agreement, businesses in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia will be able to accelerate their transition towards a greener and more digital economy, for instance with investments in the energy efficiency of residential buildings. We are proud to provide the necessary support to businesses in these countries to achieve this goal and create jobs.”

The InvestEU programme provides the EU with long-term funding by leveraging private and public funds in support of EU policy priorities. As part of the programme, the InvestEU Fund is implemented through financial partners who will invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee and thus mobilising at least €372 billion in additional investment.