The European Investment Bank is providing a EUR 25 million Global Loan to Nova Ljubljanska Banka d.d. (NLB) to finance mainly investment projects of municipalities in Slovenia.

The loan will serve for the co-financing of small and medium sized municipal projects in the fields of energy and energy savings, environmental protection, infrastructure supporting developments of health, education, urban renewal and social housing. Creative and cultural services as well as projects in the area of tourism with also be funded by this Global Loan.

EIB Global Loans have been developed as a successful tool for providing long-term funding for financing smaller municipal projects. Since 1990, the EIB has provided five global loans to partner banks in Slovenia, totalling in excess of EUR 200 million. The present Global Loan is the second one of its kind granted to the NLB.

Global Loans represent special credit lines to selected partner banks operating in the individual countries. This financial scheme is used by the EIB to finance projects by municipalities and in the SME sector with a total investment higher than EUR 40 000 and less than EUR 25 million. EIB partner banks, like the Nova Ljubljanska Banka d.d., then on-lend EIB funds under their own management, at their own risk and with their own conditions. Recipients should, however, benefit from the favourable lending conditions of the EIB. Interested investors should address the intermediaries directly.

Under this Global Loan, NLB is also expected to benefit from the Municipal Investment Facility (MIF), a special scheme promoted by the EU PHARE Programme. This facility aims to contribute to the environmentally sustainable social and economic development of border regions in the new Member States and Acceding Countries and facilitates their integration with neighbouring regions in the EU15 by supporting the development of smaller infrastructure investments.

The loan was signed by Mr. Wolfgang Roth, Vice-President of the EIB, and Mr. Marjan Kramar, President of the Management Board and CEO, NLB and Mr. Borut Stanic Member of the Management Board, NLB. Mr Roth commented on the signature saying, The EIB is pleased to sign its second global loan with NLB which, as the largest bank in Slovenia, is an important EIB partner. With EU accession and successful economic developments in Slovenia, I see substantial scope for extending this cooperation in priority areas such as municipal infrastructure investments, as the Bank's activities in the region continue to grow.

The EIB, as the European Union's long-term financing institution, has provided more than EUR 1.5 billion for projects in Slovenia since its independence. Lending activities in Slovenia cover many economic sectors ranging from basic infrastructure, manufacturing and services, including support for municipalities and SME companies through local financial institutions, promotion of the productive sector and competitiveness and development of a knowledge-based economy.

The EIB has lent EUR 30 billion to projects in the new Member States and Acceding countries of Central Europe, fostering European integration since 1990. As such, the EIB is the most important external source of finance in this region.