The European Investment Bank, the European Union's long-term financing institution, has concluded a global loan with Nykredit Bank in Denmark to support the activities of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). EIB Vice President Michael Tutty, who today signed the loan in Copenhagen, was very pleased with Nykredit Bank as EIB intermediary. He said: "In Denmark, a country known for its large number of SME's, we are very glad to co-operate with the Nykredit Group which is a solid financial group with wide spread coverage throughout Denmark".

Commenting further on the transaction, Mr Tutty said: "With this global loan, the EIB will start a co-operation with a valuable intermediary in favour of job creating SME projects, as well as small and medium sized operations in infrastructure, health and education sectors."

The EIB global loan, a financing arrangement that is basically a line of credit, will be used by Nykredit Bank to finance in Denmark and in other EU Member States small and medium sized investments undertaken by final beneficiaries in the public and private sector. The global loan is for an amount up to DKK 400 million (EUR 54 million).

The loan's objectives are to:

  • increase the productivity and competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises;
  • promote investments leading to a more rational use of energy, developing or diversifying the Community's energy resources and ensuring energy savings;
  • support projects concerned with environmental protection and reduction of pollution;
  • finance projects to improve the international competitiveness of the Community's industry;
  • promote small & medium-sized infrastructure investments of regional or Community interest.

The global loan will also include support for investments in health and education. Furthermore, it will contribute to the efforts of the EU aimed at strengthening social and economic cohesion, improving competitiveness and growth prospects, as well as providing stable employment opportunities.

The Nykredit Group has its headquarters in Copenhagen, and has seven regional head offices (including the country's four major economic centres (1)) and its 48 local branches. Through its serving some 400 000 private customers, the Nykredit Group reaches a large number of SMEs and family businesses. Nykredit Bank provides mostly corporate lending to domestic industrial and agricultural customers, as well as to the public sector.

The European Investment Bank finances capital investment furthering EU integration, in particular: regional development, trans-European networks in transport, telecoms and energy, industrial competitiveness and integration, small and medium sized enterprises, environmental protection, energy security, and health and education projects. It also operates outside the EU within the framework of the EU's co-operation external policy. Owned by the EU Member States, the EIB raises its funds on capital markets (AAA issuer). In 2000, the EIB lent some EUR 36 billion, of which almost EUR 1 billion in Denmark.

(1) In Copenhagen, Århus, Odense, Aalborg, Viborg, Ringkobing and Haderslev.