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The Board of Directors of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA (CDP) today unanimously approved the Group’s new business plan, which provides for action to stimulate the sustainable development of the Italian economy according to standards of sustainability and a long-term view.
Over a period of five years, the plan will seek to support the country's growth by mobilising new resources amounting to €160 billion. In addition, thanks to its designation as a National Promotional Institution assigned by the Italian government and the European Union, the CDP Group will be able to activate more than €100 billion of additional national and foreign private and public resources. These further funds will be primarily generated by three sources: resources provided by the EU and the European Investment Bank (EIB), also in the framework of the Juncker Plan; co-financing with other financial intermediaries including national promotional institutions; and the attraction of capital by private international and Italian institutional investors in the form of stable investments.
The plan approved today envisages comprehensive action to guide Italy’s growth along four key vectors: support for government institutions and local authorities, infrastructure enhancement, support for businesses, and development of real estate assets.
The totality of these initiatives will be realized assuring balanced economical, and financial stability and an adequate level of profitability for the Institution.
A breakdown of initiatives
In January 2016, the CDP Group will initiate a series of deep and complex interventions in the areas with the greatest development potential in Italy.
Government and Public Administration. Support for public entities will be provided through the mobilisation of €15 billion in resources (+ 22% compared with the previous five years) and the strengthening of the Group’s local network. To counter the impact of the limits imposed by the Internal Stability Pact, CDP will continue its role as the leading provider of financing to local governments, as well as developing complementary instruments alongside traditional loans, such as the development of real estate assets and equity investments in utilities and the optimization of the management and use of EU structural funds. Finally, the Group will also support the revival of international cooperation.
Infrastructure. The Plan also seeks to stimulate the country to raise its game in the effort to bridge the infrastructure gap that divides Italy from other European countries, partly a consequence of the long delays involved in starting and executing projects. To this end, CDP intends to take a proactive role through advisory services and to mobilize resources amounting to €24 billion (+ 23% compared with the previous five years) to support the establishment of networks (physical and digital), strategic infrastructure hubs (ports, airports) and the modernization of existing infrastructure giving incentives for Public-Private-Partnerships.
In addition, access to capital markets will be expanded through the provision of credit enhancements for major infrastructure projects, the launch of new tools – equity as well as debt - for the development of small-scale infrastructure and participation in national and international infrastructure funds.
Finally, special attention will be paid to environmental protection, including through investments in the waste-to-energy field and in funds that promote energy efficiency.
Enterprises. The Plan mobilizes €117 billion (+73% compared with the previous five years) and envisages intervention in support of all phases of the life cycle of enterprises.
Venture capital. CDP will consolidate its role as a leading Italian venture capital operator, encouraging the creation of start-ups, and will intensify its support for innovation and the development of enterprises and their growth. Further investments are expected in Fund of Funds Venture Capital through the Fondo Italiano d’Investimento and other "late-stage" investments through platforms with other European partners. CDP also plans to participate in platforms for co-financing or stimulating the development of public/private partnerships.
Innovation and development. Actions will be taken to facilitate access to credit by SMEs through the use of risk-sharing instruments with Italian and international financial institutions and supporting the development of alternative markets (e.g. ABSs, credit funds). Funding and finance will be provided for innovative firms and projects. Direct support will also be offered for the expansion of industries. An additional operational tool will be represented by a new investment vehicle to support the growth of medium-to-large companies through growth capital.
Investments in companies of national importance. Assets of national importance currently held by the Fondo Strategico Italiano will be reorganized through the establishment of a portfolio with a focus on systemic relevance with a long-term view.
International Expansion. Support for international expansion and exports will be strengthened and optimised through the creation of a single dedicated hub, established at SACE, which will integrate all the Group’s activities for the sector. Specific measures will also be developed to maximise firms’ access, even for medium-sized enterprises, to the Group’s range of financial/insurance products.
Restructurings. The Group will also intervene in corporate restructuring operations, acting as anchor investor in the "turnaround company", which will be controlled by private investors, with the aim of favoring the re-launch of Italian firms that, notwithstanding temporary asset and/or financial difficulty, are characterized by adequate industrial and market potential.
Real estate. In addition to support for leveraging public real estate holdings, the Plan provides for the Group to contribute to the development of the Italian real estate market through its role as the main operator in the social and affordable housing sector and the implementation of regeneration and development initiatives in strategic areas for the country. The effort will also involve tourism, a key sector of the economy, through the enhancement of tourist infrastructure to be achieved with the creation of a dedicated investment vehicle. Total planned resources amount to €3.8 billion (+110% compared with the previous five years).
Group Governance. In line with this plan, CDP will intervene to strengthen Group governance, enhance internal expertise (to align skills with our new operational areas) and expand its local presence by further developing the Group’s branch network.