Roma, 11th February 2004

Financial assistance for companies which make subsidised investments in Italy’s depressed areas. It is the content of a protocol of understanding signed by Intesa Mediocredito, Gruppo Intesa Company specialised in lending to small and medium-sized companies, and the Ministry of Industry. The agreement is the result of a long negotiation and examination which involved the Undersecretary Giuseppe Galati and the Chairman and General Manager of Intesa Mediocredito, Mario Zanone Poma and Giovanni Bizzozzero, respectively. The assistance is targeted to industrial companies and companies offering tourist, accommodation and commercial services which have been granted incentives based on state subsidies (as provided for by laws: 488/92, 46/82 Fondo innovazione tecnologica, D.L. 297/99, D.M. 593/2000 Ricerca Scientifica, 662/96 Programmazione Negoziata, 215/92 Imprenditoria Femminile etc. ) to investments to be made in Italy’s depressed areas. The objective is to accompany and sustain companies for the entire period of each project’s realisation, favouring the execution phase of investments.
This is an important initiative commented the Undersecretary Galati which responds to the requirements which have emerged from the experience of previous subsidy laws and especially to the needs manifested by small and medium-sized companies which in the depressed areas are affected by the significant diseconomies they face with the banking system. Intesa Mediocredito has the merit of having paid great attention to this problem which is now mature: offering SMEs not only guaranteed loans at current rates but also financial assistance which, in effect, becomes an indispensable contribution to the establishment and development of new companies. The importance of the protocol with our Ministry is proved by the very interventions which it provides for”.
For Mario Zanone Poma first and foremost Mr. Galati must be thanked for having identified in Intesa Mediocredito the right partner to create development synergies with the Ministry of Industry. From inception Intesa Mediocredito has always paid great attention to small and medium-sized companies and to its relations with local economies, continuing at national level the experience matured in the Northern Regions by Mediocredito Lombardo, founded in 1953. The centrality of Mezzogiorno in our Company’s strategy is testified by our direct presence and the constant growth in operations in Southern Italy, with conditions in line with those applied in Central and Northern Italy. The protocol of understanding confirms and strengthens Intesa Mediocredito’s orientation to support the companies in lower growth areas, with a wide product range and a relationship based on transparency: for this purpose the Bank has also developed financial planning tools which enable it to share its valuation criteria with the company.”
Intesa Mediocredito will provide companies with specific products which
advance the contribution for plants granted by the Ministry of Industry;
partially cover the requirements connected to the realisation of investments (e.g.: creation of new enterprises, expansion / renewal programmes, support of R&D expenses) for the portion which is not covered by contribution granted;
integrate working capital requirements and/or replenish company liquidity;
provide financial support to promoting shareholders committed in the implementation of the projects.
The offering includes various contract types, from bridge financing to medium-term lending, at competitive conditions and negotiable on the basis of the company’s specific financial requirements; beneficiary companies will also have access to the discount of bills with the pro soluto clause (without recourse), as provided for by the Sabatini Law. Lastly it will be possible to grant a participating loan, which is an advance on an equity investment and is partly paid by the company’s net income for the period.
All the applications made by companies will be first submitted to a Joint Committee formed by Intesa Mediocredito and the Ministry of Industry.
The Committee will make its assessments favouring in particular proposals of innovative and highly profitable projects and will submit them, together with its opinion, to the Bank’s Valuation bodies which have the faculty of granting the financing.