EIB (European Investment Bank) granted loans for a total of 77 billion euros for investments in Europe and in the rest of the world, compared to a total of 71.7 billion in 2013. In Europe, supporting SMEs remained the main strategic choice for EIB, with loans amounting to 25.5 billion euros. This is the largest amount the EU bank has ever loaned. “SME access to capital funds is a very serious issue,” highlighted Werner Hoyer, EIB president, during a press conference in Brussels on Monday.
EIB credit contributed to the creation and preservation of 3.9 million jobs by supporting 290,000 companies.
The bank prioritised youth employment as well. 13 billion euros went to projects liable to create jobs for young people and to improve their skills.
Although 90% of loans went to projects within the EU, the president explained why they needed to carry on lending outside the EU. 1.7 billion euros were loaned to projects around the Mediterranean and 1.4 billion in Asia and Latin America. “We will remain active around the world. Europe would lose out if we disengaged from the rest of the world, asserted Mr. Hoyer.
At the end of 2014 EIB held assets of 542 billion euros.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)