Credit in Italy – Italian Decree Law no. 23

Please find the following contribution from Dott. Cacciavillan, of Asso Studio, in VicenzaDott. Gilberto GelosaDott. Maurizio Bottoni, Dott.ssa Daniela Purghe, and Dott. Stefano Lecchi, of Interconsulting Studio Associato, in Milan; and Massimo Bertoni, Commercialista, in Bologna; all of whom are business consultants (commercialisti) we are associated with; regarding the new Decree by the Italian government in response to financial assistance for businesses affected by COVID-19.

With the Decree Law no. 23 of April 8, 2020, the Italian government has announced some measures regarding credit access for Italian companies.

CREDIT ACCESS IN ITALY

To ensure financial support to companies based in Italy facing economic difficulties due to the Coronavirus emergency, a guarantee system has been introduced through the possibility of obtaining financing which will be guaranteed by the State.

This system is addressed to two levels:

  • the “Central Guarantee Fund” (FCG), which is extended to Midsize companies (with up to 499 employees),
  • a temporary measure called “SACE Guarantee” (SACE), with the intervention of SACE Spa, for bigger companies.

The FCG and SACE will provide guarantees to banks, national and international financial institutions, and other entities authorized to exercise credit in Italy, for loans in any form, to all businesses until December 31 2020.

These public guarantees may be issued for new loans with a duration of no more than 6 years, with the possibility of a pre-amortization period lasting up to 24 months.

FCG GUARANTEE

The guarantee is free of charge.
The maximum guaranteed amount is 5 million euros for each individual company.
The maximum percentage of direct guarantee coverage is 90% of the amount of each financing transaction, for transactions lasting up to 72 months.

The total amount of financial transactions cannot exceed the following criteria:

  1. double the 2019 annual wage expenditure; or
  2. 25% of the 2019 turnover; or
  3. the requirement for operating capital costs and investment costs over the next 18 months, in the case of small and medium-sized enterprises, and in the next 12 months, in the case of companies with no more than 499 employees.

The debt renegotiations are eligible for the Fund’s guarantee, provided that an additional amount of the original financing transaction, at least of 10%, is granted.

New financing for small and medium-sized enterprises and individuals with business activities, arts or professions whose business activity has been damaged by emergency Covid-19, are eligible for the Fund’s guarantee, with 100% coverage for amounts no more than 25,000 euros. The guarantee for these applicants is granted automatically, without evaluation.

SACE GUARANTEE

The guarantee is available for any type of company, regardless of size, sector of activity and legal form, including those who have fully utilized their ability to access the above FCG.

The guaranteed loan must be intended to support staff costs, investments or working capital employed in production plants and business activities located in Italy and cannot have an amount greater than:

  • double the 2019 annual wage expenditure;
  • 25% of the 2019 turnover;

The guarantee issued by SACE will be between the 90% and the 70% of the loan, depending on the number of employees in Italy and the company’s turnover.
The Liquidity Decree requires that the company must undertake the following commitments:

  • for itself and for any other company based in Italy that is part of the same group, not to approve the distribution of dividends or the repurchase of shares during 2020;
  • to manage employment levels through union agreements

The loan request form must be submitted by the company directly to the bank, which will verify the eligibility criteria and carry out the credit investigation.
If the request is accepted, a Unique Identification Code (CUI) is assigned and the loan is issued, guaranteed by the State.

For companies with a turnover greater than € 1.5 billion or more than 5,000 employees in Italy, the issuance of the guarantee by SACE can only be made following an internal investigation process and subsequent approval by Decree by of the Minister of Economy and Finance.

EXPORT FINANCING

In order to strengthen the export and internationalization activities of companies, a co-insurance system has been introduced, according to which the commitments deriving from SACE’s insurance activity, for non-market risks, are hired by the state for 90% and by SACE for the remaining 10%.

Through SACE, the Italian government assumes non-market risks, i.e. political, catastrophic, economic, commercial and foreign exchange risks, to which national operators are exposed, directly or indirectly, in their foreign business.

Special guarantees are aimed at favouring commitments in strategic sectors [1] for the Italian economy, in terms of employment levels and repercussions for the country’s economic system, as well as to support commitments for operations in strategic countries.

20 April 2020


Please view the chart (in Italian) HERE


[1] These are: a) critical infrastructures, whether physical or virtual, including energy, transport, water, health, communications, the media, data processing or archiving, aerospace infrastructures, defence, electoral or financial infrastructures, sensitive structures, as well as investments in land and properties essential for the use of these infrastructures; b) critical technologies and dual-use products as defined in Article 2, point 1 of Regulation (EC) no. 428/2009 of the Council, including artificial intelligence, robotics, semiconductors, cybersecurity, aerospace, defence, energy storage, quantum and nuclear technologies, as well as nanotechnology and biotechnology; c) the security of the supply of critical production factors, including energy and raw materials, as well as food security; d) access to sensitive information, including personal data, or the ability to control such information; e) media freedom and pluralism.