The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's project financing arm, is providing a 35 million euro loan to Denso Manufacturing Hungary Ltd. (DMHU) for a new diesel injection pump plant in the Special Economic Zone of Szekesfehervar, in Central Hungary.

With a workforce of 500, the plant will produce some 230 000 diesel injection pumps per year for assembly in a new diesel engine plant in southern Poland which is also being financed by the EIB.

Commenting on the loan, EIB-Vice President Wolfgang Roth said: `This investment will stimulate cooperation between the car industry of two accession and several EU countries, where a number of car plants will use engines made in Poland and using components from Hungary and other countries, for powering various car models, thereby substituting imports from Japan.'

The loan to DMHU brings total EIB financing in Hungary to some 1.3 billion euro. Previous loans were for upgrading of the rail, road, urban transport and telephone networks, for the air traffic control system and for various municipal infrastructure improvement schemes in Budapest and other cities. In the energy sector, the EIB helped modernise electricity generation and distribution as well as oil refining and distribution. In addition, numerous small and medium-scale private and public projects were financed through EIB global loans (credit lines) to the Hungarian banking sector.

The EIB was set up in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome to lend to projects furthering European Union policies. While strengthening weaker EU regions has always been its main goal, the Bank also lends to projects outside the European Union under the Union's co-operation policy toward third countries. Since 1990 some 8.5 billion euro were lent to projects in the ten Central European countries which have applied for EU membership. Owned by the Member States, the EIB raises the bulk of its funds on the capital markets worldwide where its bond issues regularly benefit from the Bank's `AAA' credit rating.

1 euro= 1.95583 DEM, GBP 0.70, IEP 0.79, USD 1.16675, 252.392 HUF.