• Intesa Sanpaolo to make available €120 billion for SMEs, micro-businesses, the third sector, agri-food and tourism through 2026

• Three main pillars: Transition 5.0 and energy, growth in foreign markets, digital development and cybersecurity

• Collaboration with SACE enhanced for Green and Future guarantees

Milan, 25 March 2024 –
Intesa Sanpaolo is launching “Il tuo futuro è la nostra impresa” (“Your Future is Our Business”), a new programme that through 2026 will make available €120 billion in support of the plans of SMEs and smaller companies, Italy's vital entrepreneurial system and local supply chains. The goal is to encourage new investments in Italy’s competitiveness by further accelerating the robust performance dynamics of the country’s economy and ensuring the immediate activation of sustainable, long-term strategies. This series of measures is part of the Group's actions in support of the achievement of the objectives set out in the NRRP, to which a total of more than €410 billion has been allocated, as announced by CEO Carlo Messina.

With the new “Your Future is Our Business” programme, the Bank aims to expedite the processes of transformation required for the industrial renewal and energy and digital transition of businesses, by facilitating their access to the new measures of the NRRP. Thanks to the renewed synergy with SACE and other institutional players, the investment opportunities and benefits for businesses will be amplified by the measures put in place by Intesa Sanpaolo.

After the successful conclusion of Motore Italia – the €50-billion plan implemented in 2021 to support the post-pandemic recovery of SMEs – the new initiative by Intesa Sanpaolo's Banca dei Territori Division led by Stefano Barrese now focuses on three priority areas:

- Transition 5.0 and Energy
The regulatory framework of the Transition 5.0 plan provides around €13 billion in tax credits for achieving energy efficiency targets. Together with its partners and Sace, Intesa Sanpaolo has developed dedicated subsidised financing solutions, consultancy for gaining access to tax relief and obtaining the relevant certifications and training for increasing competitiveness and sustainability through new investments in development, savings and energy generation in view of efficient consumption. As part of its further efforts with regard to energy and the NRRP measure on incentives for Renewable Energy Communities, Italy's leading group provides dedicated shared energy solutions, including in the form of collective self-consumption, with specific subsidised financing and advisory models for building new innovative energy-saving systems.

- Foreign development and new markets
The redefinition of export markets and the geopolitical situation are essential to supporting the strong aptitude of Italy's companies for exporting the country’s products of excellence. Intesa Sanpaolo accompanies its financial solutions with the expertise of its specialised structures. Drawing on its deep-rooted, widespread international presence, the Group identifies the best sectors and potential new markets – in particular Eastern Europe, India and the United Arab Emirates – in addition to offering specific training courses.

- Digital Progress and Security
Digital processes and skills are strategic for competitiveness. Yet, at the same time, adequate security systems are indispensable to protect customers, companies and growth. For companies looking for new business, the Bank has developed protection and financial instruments, including the new Cyber Loan. Thanks to its partners and ESG Workshops throughout Italy, Intesa Sanpaolo involves companies in qualified digital training courses.

Particularly significant to the new programme launched today are the agribusiness and tourism sectors, which present unique peculiarities and require specific support in the transition towards more innovative, profitable and sustainable models. Since 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo has dedicated a specialised sales network to agribusiness, capable of assisting the entire production chain, from production to processing.
A structure with more than 1,000 professionals that has supported the sector with disbursements of around €9 billion and support for over 180 supply chains. With the new plan comes Cresci Agri, the new line of loans with terms of up to 30 years dedicated to the development of production that can be modulated on the production cycle of the supply chain, as well as products to hedge against raw material risks and ad-hoc solutions for energy efficiency and international growth. Finally, specific attention is paid to the third sector, which Intesa Sanpaolo supports through a dedicated department with over 600 people who assist about one third of Italy's non-profit organisations, working alongside impact companies on development projects and constructive, integrated interaction with the for-profit world. Intesa Sanpaolo has already granted more than €1.5 billion in loans to this sector.

Stefano Barrese, Head of Intesa Sanpaolo's Banca dei Territori Division, commented: “Companies that invest today can carve out an important competitive advantage in the near future. Our role is to activate dedicated financial resources and instruments to accompanying investment choices and to help seize the opportunities of the NRRP and Transition 5.0. We serve more than 1.2 million customers, including SMEs and smaller companies, and we aim to stimulate a revitalised approach to growth by all of them, with new resources and shared objectives. The business world has to face a technological, digital, geographical and generational repositioning in a medium- to long-term logic and Intesa Sanpaolo is ready to support it with a €120 billion plan from now until 2026".

The programme was presented by Intesa Sanpaolo at an event involving guests from the business community such as Luca Businaro, CEO of Novation Tech, Massimo Perotti, president and CEO of Sanlorenzo, and Josè Rallo, CEO of Donnafugata, as well as Valerio Perinelli, chief business officer of SACE. For Intesa Sanpaolo, Executive Director Sales & Marketing SMEs Anna Roscio gave a detailed description of the business initiative, while Chief Economist Gregorio De Felice presented the scenario for growth-oriented companies. Stefano Barrese, Head of the Banca dei Territori Division, concluded the discussion by underscoring the strategic relevance of sustainable investments.

The importance of investing in the ongoing transformation processes is also highlighted in the analysis by Intesa Sanpaolo's Research Department: investments in sustainability and technology offer significant returns, and manufacturing companies with renewable energy plants in the period 2019-2022 weathered the energy crisis better than the rest, with greater resilience of profitability at high levels. From 2019 to 2022, companies with 4.0 investments recorded twice as much growth in turnover as the rest (+32.5% versus +16.6%), alongside a leap forward in productivity, with added value per employee rising by +€13,000 (versus +€5,000). According to data from the latest ISTAT permanent census, there is ample room for improvement in Italy’s economic fabric: suffice it to say that in 2021-2022 only 5.7% of Italian companies with at least three employees used renewable energy sources (RESs). This figure rises to 10.4% in industry, narrowly defined. Support for the green transition can come from energy supply chains and energy communities, as revealed by Intesa Sanpaolo's 18th survey on business sentiment surveyed by its management personnel in November-December 2023. Among medium-sized and large companies, there is a growing propensity to rely on suppliers that reduce their environmental impact. At the same time, there is rising interest among customers in energy communities that can business investments in RESs. There is also room for improvement in the areas of innovation and technology. In industry, narrowly defined, almost one of two companies with at least three employees carried out innovation activities in the period 2021-2022, with peaks of 92.1% among companies with at least 250 employees. This percentage drops to 34.4% among companies with 3-9 employees. In terms of technology adoption, an average of 39.1% of industrial companies used business management software in the two-year period 2021-2022, with peaks of 90.8% among the largest companies. There seem to be margins for development, especially among smaller companies, where the figure does not reach 30%. In this context, it will be crucial to resolve the imbalance between labour supply and demand: overall, almost 2.5 million hard-to-find positions were estimated in 2023 (+18.4% vs. 2022), 45.1% of the total.

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Intesa Sanpaolo is Italy’s leading banking group – serving families, businesses and the real economy – with a significant international presence. Intesa Sanpaolo’s distinctive business model makes it a European leader in Wealth Management, Protection & Advisory, highly focused on digital and fintech, in particular with Isybank, the Group’s digital bank. An efficient and resilient Bank, it benefits from its wholly-owned product factories in asset management and insurance. The Group’s strong ESG commitment includes providing €115 billion in impact lending by 2025 to communities and for the green transition, and €500 million in contributions to support people most in need, positioning Intesa Sanpaolo as a world leader in terms of social impact. Intesa Sanpaolo is committed to Net Zero by 2030 for its own emissions and by 2050 for its loan and investment portfolios. An engaged patron of Italian culture, Intesa Sanpaolo has created its own network of museums, the Gallerie d’Italia, to host the bank's artistic heritage and as a venue for prestigious cultural projects.
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