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State aid: Commission approves €250 million Portuguese measure under the Recovery and Resilience Facility to further capitalise Banco Português de Fomento  

13/04/2022 | Economia |  Daily News 11 / 04 / 2022

Source: European Commission Spokesperson's Service  

The European Commission approved, under EU State aid rules, a €250 million Portuguese aid measure, made available through the Recovery and Resilience Facility ('RRF'), to further capitalise the country’s promotional institution Banco Português de Fomento ('BPF'). The measure notified by Portugal will be entirely funded through the RRF, following the Commission's positive assessment of the Portuguese Recovery and Resilience Plan and its adoption by the Council. Portugal’s Recovery and Resilience Plan establishes the increase of BPF’s capital as a necessary condition for BPF to become Portugal’s national implementing partner of the InvestEU Programme. The measure will enable BPF to increase financing - particularly for small and medium enterprises (‘SMEs’) affected by the coronavirus pandemic - mostly through the granting of public guarantees in close collaboration with commercial banks active in Portugal. The Commission assessed the share capital increase under EU State aid rules, in particular Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which allows State aid to facilitate the development of certain economic activities or of certain economic areas. The Commission found that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate, and has sufficient safeguards to avoid undue negative effects on competition and trade in the EU. On this basis, the Commission approved the share capital increase in favour of BPF under EU State aid rules. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “This share capital increase will enable Banco Português de Fomento to further promote the growth of the Portuguese economy in a sustainable way and to support the green and digital transitions. It will also contribute to economic cohesion, productivity and competitiveness. At the same time, it ensures that competition is not unduly distorted.” A press release is available online.

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