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Economy 18 Jul 2022

The EIB Group and BBVA agree to mobilize €1.194 billion to boost climate action and the economic recovery of SMEs in Spain

The EIB Group, comprising the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), has signed a new asset-backed securities (ABS) purchase agreement with BBVA. The deal encompasses several transactions through a single securitization, with a structure designed to achieve optimal efficiency. In addition, the EIB Group signed an agreement with BBVA for a €54 million synthetic securitization under the European Guarantee Fund (EGF) program.

Of the total amount of €1,194 million across the several transactions, €512 million will fund green projects related to the environment and climate action in Spain. Up to €682 million will be allocated to loans to Spanish SMEs and mid-caps, which were severely hit by the fallout of the pandemic and the disruption and high inflation triggered by the invasion of Ukraine.

EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Felix stated: “We are pleased to sign a new agreement with BBVA, a key partner of the EIB Group in Spain over the past three decades. The projects within the scope of this new transaction cover a wide range of areas that are aligned with our climate action and environmental sustainability objectives, such as energy efficiency and the promotion of renewable energies. In addition, with the European Guarantee Fund (EGF) we have the opportunity to further strengthen our partnership with BBVA in supporting SMEs and mid-caps in recovering from the effects of COVID-19."

Luisa Gómez Bravo, Global Head of BBVA Corporate & Investment Banking, said: “This new deal with the EIB enables us to continue helping small and medium-sized enterprises grow and develop, which is a challenge in this context of global economic uncertainty. Moreover, under this agreement we will fund environmental projects, in alignment with the BBVA Group's strategic priority: to support our clients in their transition to a sustainable future."

For his part, the CEO of the EIF, Alain Godard, commented: “We are extremely pleased to have successfully completed the EGF Securitisation mandate jointly with EIB. It was a strategic mandate for the EIB Group with the aim to support small businesses in Spain in the current difficult macroeconomic situation in which we live, caused, among other things, by the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank BBVA for supporting and contributing to such an important mandate"

Luisa Gómez Bravo, Global Head of BBVA Corporate & Investment Banking, and Ricardo Mourinho Félix, EIB Vice-President.

The first two transactions are the most heavily financed: €500 million divided into two equal funds. One fund is intended to provide financial resources to a range of specific climate action initiatives in areas that support energy efficiency and renewable energy objectives at national and European level, thus helping to reduce carbon emissions. One of the specific actions to be driven forward by this €250 million fund is energy refurbishment by homeowners' associations of residential buildings in Spain. BBVA will also be able to finance purchases of residential properties that achieve the highest energy performance standards (EPC Class A) and meet the requirements set by the EIB and the EU taxonomy. In addition, the bank can now fund private sector investments by SMEs and mid-caps in selected initiatives with a strong climate action angle. The other €250 million fund will enable BBVA to boost its additional lending capacity and offer access to financing for Spanish SMEs and mid-caps on preferential terms.

The third transaction within the scope of the deal, for a value of €90 million euros, will fund the construction and operation of a portfolio of 13 photovoltaic plants throughout Spain. The project will have a combined capacity of 605 MW and will produce close to 1,310 GWh per year. This transaction is 100% eligible under the EIB's Climate Awareness Bonds (CAB) program. The world's first green bond, launched by the lending arm of the EU in 2007, introduced the concept of reporting on real investments on the basis of sustainability objectives.

The fourth transaction between the Basque bank and the EIB Group will provide €100 million to finance purchases of buildings in Spain with near-zero energy consumption. The fifth transaction, signed with the EIF, will enable BBVA to invest €72 million in sustainable operations.

The proceeds of the sixth and last transaction, €432 million, will be made available for SME financing, as an allocation under the European Guarantee Fund (EGF). This initiative managed by the EIB Group is part of the EU's global response package to COVID-19, which has an allocation of EUR 540 billion to support the European economy and, in particular, SMEs and mid-caps affected by the pandemic

The EIB and BBVA have been working together for more than 30 years. Over this period, the two institutions have signed more than 140 deals in 17 countries to provide direct financing to SMEs and mid-caps worth more than €4.5 billion overall.