Business Irish

Sunday 11 December 2016

BoI and port to benefit from €200m European loan investment pot

Published 24/10/2015 | 02:30

Dublin Port chief executive Eamonn O’Reilly, Dublin Port Company chairperson Lucy McCaffrey, Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe and EIB vice-president Jonathan Taylor yesterday
Dublin Port chief executive Eamonn O’Reilly, Dublin Port Company chairperson Lucy McCaffrey, Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe and EIB vice-president Jonathan Taylor yesterday

The European Investment Bank has announced €100m of financing for Bank of Ireland to be targeted at small and medium enterprises.

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The Luxembourg-based body also released the final €200m of the €400m previously promised for the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), as well as a €100m loan for Dublin Port's Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project.

Jonathan Taylor, EIB vice-president, and Finance Minister Michael Noonan yesterday opened a Dublin workshop aimed at ensuring companies, banks and financial intermediaries in Ireland are fully aware of new financing opportunities available.

"I am pleased to further announce that the first financing for Irish companies to be supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investment, otherwise known as EFSI or the Juncker Plan, has been confirmed," Mr Taylor said.

He added that "€100m will be provided by the EIB's SME focused arm, the European Investment Fund, to guarantee lending by the Bank of Ireland to companies engaged innovation, as well as research and development activities, over the next two years."

The Bank of Ireland financing represents the first support for Irish companies under the InnovFin SME guarantee scheme and will enable Bank of Ireland to offer firms additional financing at favourable conditions.

The aim of the InnovFin SME Guarantee is to encourage banks or other financial institutions to lend to small and mid-cap firms finance research, development and innovation activities.

The Dublin Port loan is the first time in 20 years for the EIB to finance port infrastructure development in Ireland.

The ABR Project is expected to take five years to complete, costing an estimated €230m.

It came as separate data showed that cargo volumes at Dublin Port were up 5.8pc year-on-year in the nine months to the end of September. Newly-released figures put total throughput (imports and exports) for the period at 24m gross tonnes.

Imports rose 6pc to 14.4m gross tonnes on the same trading period, which the port said was a sign of the improving domestic economy.

Dublin Port Company chief executive Eamonn O'Reilly said 2015 will be a record year.

Mr O'Reilly met Jonathan Taylor to finalise a €100m EIB loan for the Port's Alexandra Basin redevelopment project - the largest single infrastructure development project in the port's history.

The European Investment Bank is owned by the 28 EU member states, including Ireland, and one of the EIB's priorities is supporting access to finance by private companies.

Over the last five years the EIB has provided nearly €100bn for investment by small and medium companies and last year backed the expansion plans of 290,000 firms across Europe.

Irish Independent

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