Madrid, February 19, 2016 - The Council of Ministers has approved a Royal Decree that modifies a previous regulation (of 27th October 2006) related to the activities and operations of the Fund for Foreign Investment (FIEX) and the Fund for SME Foreign Investment Operations (FONPYME).
The reform approved today aims to make the Operations Fund more flexible by allowing the direct financing of Spanish companies, including Spanish parent companies, where international projects do not qualify for the FONPYME Fund requirements to finance them. The amendment also gives the FONPYME Fund the opportunity to participate in vehicles or capital expansion funds, with existing or future official support, or private investment funds that promote the internationalisation of the company or of the Spanish economy. Meanwhile, COFIDES, the public-private entity that manages FONPYME and FIEX Funds will be able to get involved in the operational management of companies and financed funds under certain circumstances. These measures facilitate access to credit by Spanish SMEs.
The Royal Decree includes this, as detailed in the 2013 Act of entrepreneur support and their internationalisation, of 2013, where both FIEX and FONPYME were listed as financial instruments to support internationalisation, but relates only to FONPYME, since an upgrade to the Act relating to the FIEX Fund took place in 2015.
COFIDES is a combined private-public concern, which since 1988 has provided financial support to Spanish enterprises abroad. COFIDES manages the FIEX and FONPYME funds on behalf of the State Secretariat of Commerce, within the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. The stockholders include the Bank of Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Santander Bank, Popular Bank, Sabadell Bank and CAF-Development Bank of Latin America.