EIB Group confirms record EUR 2.5 billion financing in Greece in 2017
- Strengthened EIB engagement in Greece delivers EUR 2.5 billion new investment
- Crucial renewable energy, transport and telecom infrastructure transformed
- 2,750 Greek companies benefit from new investment backed by largest ever European Investment Fund engagement
- EIB trade finance scheme expanded following new EUR 134 million HSBC support
The European Investment Bank Group today confirmed that a total of EUR 2.5 billion of new financing was signed in 2017 for public and private sector investment across in Greece. This marks the second largest annual financing in the country by Europe’s long-term lending institution in 55 years of Greek operations.
Last year also represented the largest ever support for new business investment in Greece by the European Investment Fund (EIF) and backing for the greatest number of individual projects by the European Investment Bank (EIB).
“As the bank of the European Union, the EIB is a long-standing partner of Greece. The enhanced engagement of the EIB is already enabling broader investment across new sectors and ensuring new financing is available for leading Greek companies. After several years of recession, the Greek economy has now entered a new phase of high growth prospects. I look forward working closely with the EIB to ensure the impact of EIB Group financing continues to increase in the years ahead.” said Alexis Charitsis, Alternate Minister of Economy of Development of the Hellenic Republic.
“Two years ago this week the EIB launched the Investment Team for Greece and today I am pleased to confirm that this dedicated focus and increased engagement has delivered clear results. EUR 2.5 billion of new financing by the EIB Group signed in 2017 is transforming crucial energy, transport and communication infrastructure across the country and ensuring that thousands of Greek companies can harness new opportunities, expand business and create new jobs.” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.
Enhanced EIB support across economic sectors
Strengthened EIB activity to finance investment in Greece included new support for transport, energy, and telecommunications infrastructure, alongside urban development and targeted lending for Greek companies.
This included more than EUR 817 million of new transport financing, including backing road construction to complete key motorway connections that will improve road safety, as well as reduce transport costs and journey times. The EIB also supported expansion of next generation mobile networks and upgrading 11 airports across the country.
Record European Investment Fund activity in Greece
Last year the European Investment Fund provided EUR 384 million of new equity, guarantee and microfinance financing in Greece.
2017 represented the largest ever annual engagement for the European Investment Fund in the country and marked the first time that EIF activity in Greece exceeded EUR 100 million.
Targeted EIB Group support for Greek business investment
In 2017 the EIB Group, including both the European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund provide more than EUR 1.2 billion for investment by Greek companies.
EIB financing included a EUR 70 million long-term loan to finance product development and capacity expansion by the world’s leading aluminium producer ElvalHalcor. One of the country’s largest exporters the company account for around 10% of all Greek visible exports.
Crucial new EIB and EIF financing to support investment by Greek companies will be strengthened following new credit lines with Alpha Bank, Eurobank and Pancretan signed in 2017, alongside a new securitization programme with Pireaus Bank.
Building on success of EIB Trade Finance Facility and new HSBC backing confirmed
Last year marked the launch of the EIB’s second trade finance programme in the country. This follows the successful completion of a dedicated facility that has provided EUR 389 million of trade finance essential for internationally active Greek companies since 2013. The new programme is expected to support EUR 400 million of trade finance to be provided by local banks in cooperation with international financial partners.
HSBC today confirmed its participation to the initiative with EUR 134 million, alongside Commerzbank and Citibank, who have already joined the initiative.
Urban regeneration and sustainable transport in Thessaloniki
Greece’s second city Thessaloniki will benefit from EUR 220 million of new EIB financing agreed in 2017 to support urban development and regeneration, as well as construction of the first metro line in the city.
Unlocking public and private renewable energy investment
The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest financier of renewable energy and last year more than EUR 209 million of new financing for windfarms, hydropower and energy efficiency projects across Greece was agreed. This includes backing three new windfarms in Viotia that will generate 49 MW of clean energy, and through the EIB’s first ever loan with PPC Renewables supporting new renewable energy investment at 14 locations across Greece, including on 12 Greek islands.
A new EUR 100 million energy efficiency investment programme managed locally by Piraeus Bank will support development of small-scale building renovation, outdoor lighting and water pumping schemes to significantly reduce energy use and lower energy bills.
Investment Plan for Europe mobilizing EUR 5.8 billion of new investment in Greece
Since the launch of the European Fund for Strategic Investments in 2015 the EIB Group has approved EUR 1.7 billion of EFSI backed financing in Greece. The joint EIB Group – European Commission initiative, part of the Investment Plan for Europe, is expected to mobilize more than EUR 5.8 billion of new investment across the country.
Last year EFSI backed financing in Greece supported both telecom investment, and SME financing through Piraeus Bank. Across Europe only the four far larger economies of Italy, Spain, France and Germany have received seen more EFSI backed financing reach the real economy.
Expectations for 2018
In 2018 new EIB Group financing will reflect the robust demand from both public and private sector clients iacross Greece. Projects currently being considered include Athens Metro Line 4, the largest public works scheme in the country, as well as new road, airport, port and urban development initiatives.
The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and last year provided EUR 79.2 billion of financing for projects across Europe and around the world.