The UniCredit Group and the EIB Group, which includes the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), have recently implemented three synthetic credit portfolio securitization transactions that will enable UniCredit to provide 5 billion euros of new loans to small and medium-sized enterprises. small enterprises (SMEs) in Italy, Germany and Bulgaria.
Through its collaboration with the EIB and the EIF under the European Guarantee Fund (EGF) — a key part of the package of COVID-19 response measures approved by the European Union in 2020 to counter economic difficulties and production slowdowns caused by the pandemic — UniCredit Group completed three new synthetic securitization transactions on portfolios totaling approximately €4.7 billion, in line with the capital efficiency targets identified in the UniCredit Unlocked plan.
UniCredit Spa securitized a loan portfolio of 1.7 billion euros in Italy, taking advantage of the guarantee of the junior tranche of the EIF. The capital released from the securitized portfolio will be used to disburse €1.8 billion in new loans at preferential rates by 2023 to support new investments and working capital for Italian SMEs.
In Germany, UniCredit Bank AG securitized a EUR 2 billion portfolio of corporate loans, taking advantage of the EIF’s junior tranche guarantee. The bank intends to support German SMEs with new loans at preferential rates of up to 2.5 billion euros to be disbursed by mid-2024.
In Bulgaria, UniCredit Bulbank carried out the first operation of this type by the banks of the group in the CE & EE (Circular Economy and Energy Efficiency) pole within the framework of a junior tranche guarantee from the EIF, in the form of a portfolio synthetic loan securitization of one billion euros which will be deployed to provide new loans at preferential rates to small businesses in the country.
These three recent transactions, which have seen UniCredit Bank AG act as sole arranger, are part of the broader framework of the collaboration between UniCredit and the EIB, which, during the period 2021-2022 alone, has enabled to mobilize more than 9 billion euros of financial resources for companies in the countries where UniCredit operates.
Andrea Orcel, CEO of UniCredit, said: “European SMEs are the engine of our economy and it is our responsibility to help them succeed and support them in difficult circumstances. The €5 billion in new lending demonstrates our continued commitment to do so, also nurtured by the long-standing cooperation with the EIB. These funds will provide companies, and all of their employees, with the concrete help they need to continue to serve their customers and their communities.
EIB Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti said: “In 2021 alone, the EIB Group has supported over 430,000 European small businesses with €45 billion and, thanks to the strong and long-standing partnership between the EIB Group and the UniCredit Group, Italian, German and Bulgarian small businesses will benefit from additional new financing of €5 billion to meet their liquidity and working capital needs. These operations once again show the EIB Group’s commitment to European businesses, and UniCredit has once again proven to be a key partner in terms of facilitating access to credit for the greatest number of businesses. in Europe.”
“Thanks to these operations with Unicredit, thousands of European companies will be able to invest in their medium and long-term growth and development. The European Guarantee Fund, deployed in record time by the EIB Group following the outbreak of the pandemic, proved to be a key instrument to provide the necessary liquidity to SMEs to face the crisis,” said Alain Godard, CEO of the EIF.
In May 2021, UniCredit and the EIB signed an agreement aimed at mitigating the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 crisis on Italian large and medium-sized companies. With the support of the European Guarantee Fund, the EIB has secured 75% of the new €1 billion portfolio of additional loans from UniCredit. The operation, which will be fully deployed in September 2022 thanks to additional financing and the synergy mechanism, has triggered 2.5 billion euros of corporate investment.
In November 2021, a first synthetic securitization transaction was signed as part of a €2 billion loan portfolio, also structured by UniCredit Bank AG as sole arranger, for which the EIF provided a guarantee mezzanine tranche, enabling UniCredit to provide 720 million euros of new loans. to small Italian businesses.